2023 Chargers Cuts: How likely Keenan Allen, Khalil Mack and more are to be cut
WR Keenan Allen
Allen represents the potential cut that I'm the most conflicted on. If you're to take what Telesco said at face value, cutting him is not truly a potential consideration from a cap perspective. On the other hand, it's probably best to not take what Telesco says at press conferences at face value.
The financial reality of Allen's release would result in the Chargers saving $14.8 million. Via trade, they'd save approximately $16.3, so that's another potential road they could go down.
The case for keeping Allen is pretty simple. He's been a franchise icon for the last decade and based on how he finished the 2022 season after coming back from injury, he's still got some good ball left in him even if he's no longer a consensus top 10 wide receiver. The connection with Herbert pops off of the screen.
But there's a viable case for moving on a year too early before a year too late as well. A new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore may want to find ways to add speed and change the complexion of the Chargers' offense. If the Chargers want to add some speed to the wide receiver room while maintaining their four wide receivers + one returner structure, Allen's potential cut represents a chance to do that prior to free agency and the draft.
$15 million in savings is not insignificant for a team that is trying to retain some key pieces in free agency. As I spoke with The Athletic's Daniel Popper on a podcast a few weeks ago, he mentioned cap compliancy as a huge reason he doesn't feel confident on Allen's return:
All of this being said: if I'm a betting man, I'm placing my money on Allen still being with the Chargers in 2023 while they find other ways to address their cap compliance issues. But I don't think any fan should scoff at the possibility of moving on either, as the odds of him leaving the team may be higher than conventionally thought.