LA Chargers News

Chargers: Three two-year deals that could end a season early

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Travis Benjamin #12 of the Los Angeles Chargers can't hang on to the ball in the end zone as free safety Tashaun Gipson #39 of the Houston Texans defends in the final seconds of the game at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Travis Benjamin #12 of the Los Angeles Chargers can't hang on to the ball in the end zone as free safety Tashaun Gipson #39 of the Houston Texans defends in the final seconds of the game at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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The Chargers have some hidden cap space available in 2020, so long as they relieve these three veterans of their roster spot after this season is over.

The Chargers will finally be rewarded for not spending every ounce of cap space they had in free agency this year once 2020 and 2021 free agency comes around. With $54 million in cap space next offseason, the team is free to do whatever it wants to add some key pieces to their roster, as well as extend their own free agents should they choose to retain players like Austin Ekeler (restricted free agent), Hunter Henry, and Derek Watt.

What’s better than $54 million in cap space? You guessed it: More than $54 million in cap space. And, with a few cuts, they could free up some more.

There are at least three players who will have their “two-year deals” cut short: Denzel Perryman, Brandon Mebane, and Travis Benjamin. If any of those three were to be retained, it’s likely Benjamin, because his $1.5 million cap hit doesn’t affect what the Chargers can do too much.

Let’s assume, for now, that all three are let go. According to Over The Cap’s salary cap calculator simulation, the Chargers free up over $10 million in cap space, and would then be at $64.76 million for the season. That’s no small amount, and following a year where the Chargers may have gone from tendering Ekeler to extending him to a multi-year deal, that matters.

One name some readers may have expected to see is Thomas Davis, who is one of the more internet-maligned players with the Chargers this season. However, it doesn’t seem like Davis is going anywhere anytime soon, and for good reason. As of right now, the veteran is on pace to break his personal career-record in total tackles, has played in over 87 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, and just posted his highest Pro Football Focus grade of the season against the Jaguars.

Next. Where do these key free agents end up next season?

He’s likely to stay, but the other three are likely to go. Perryman has been far surpassed by Drue Tranquill, Mebane has now played fewer snaps than Damion Square, and Benjamin is a cut waiting to happen for years now. What could the Chargers do with an additional $10 million in cap space? Comment below and discuss.

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