3. Julio Jones’ contract is too big for the LA Chargers
This is the main reason why the Atlanta Falcons are looking to trade Jones but it should not be a roadblock for the Chargers. The Chargers have something that the Falcons don’t, which makes this is a nonfactor: cap space.
According to Over The Cap, the Chargers have $20.4 million in cap space and would have to pay Jones $15.3 million. The Chargers still need to sign Rashawn Slater to his rookie deal but they can easily restructure other contracts with signing bonuses and whatnot to make up the extra $2.5-3 million that they would need in space.
Not only do the Chargers have the money right now but they absolutely have the money in the coming years as well. Chris Harris and Linval Joseph will be off the books, and more importantly, so will Mike Williams.
Williams is making over $15 million this season and Jones’ salary would essentially replace Williams for the next two seasons. Williams is likely going to sign something in the ballpark of four years, $50 million and the Chargers would only have to pay Jones $11.6 million in his last two years.
The Chargers would be getting a slight discount and yes, I would much rather pay Jones $11.6 million than Williams $12.5 million.
Keep in mind that the Chargers do not have a long-term WR2 option. Tyron Johnson would have to take a big step up and Josh Palmer could be ready, but should we be trusting a guy who has not even played an NFL snap yet to blossom into a WR2 by year two?