Reason #3: The competition takes a worse hit
Earlier, I mentioned the Chiefs with Mahomes’ pending contract extension. The extension could be as much as $45-50 million, and it doesn’t take too much math to do the numbers; $50 million is a much larger percentage of $160 million than it is of $200 million.
That extension also plays into the future of who the Chiefs can and can’t realistically sign. We’re already seeing that with star defensive tackle Chris Jones and his contract situation.
Jones is a top-three tackle in the league who’s absolutely worth the $20 million he has set as his price in annual value, but the Chiefs may not be the team to pay him with all of the mouths they have to feed. That would be a tricky situation anyways, but the incoming cap decrease makes it even more challenging.
It’s not just the Chiefs either. The Raiders and Broncos both are currently spending more on the salary cap than the Chargers, as they rank 24th and 14th in the percentage of the cap spent. The Chargers rank 8th.
The New England Patriots, a consistent force in the AFC playoff picture over the last 20 years, find themselves barely under the cap by one million dollars.
Compared to some of the main competition in the AFC West and AFC in general, the Chargers are set up pretty well for a potential cap decrease in 2021.