Perhaps the biggest conversation around the LA Chargers this offseason is the team's salary-cap situation and the possibility of cutting Keenan Allen. Per Over the Cap, the Chargers are currently $20.2 million over the salary cap and will need to free up another $3.1 million in cap space for the incoming draft class.
Allen has thus become one of the prime candidates to potentially be cut this offseason. Cutting Allen with a pre-June 1 designation would free up $14.8 million in cap space. Cutting him with a post-June 1 designation would free up $17.5 million in cap space.
With Allen on the wrong side of 30, and coming off of a season in which he only played 515 snaps because of a hamstring injury, many fans have accepted that Allen will be cut. The Athletic's Daniel Popper named Allen as the most likely cap casualty for the Chargers this offseason.
While some may view this as writing on the wall for Allen's eventual departure, there are more compelling reasons for Allen to stick around in Los Angeles at least for one more season.
3 reasons why the Chargers won't cut Keenan Allen this offseason:
1. Justin Herbert (and Tom Telesco) love Keenan Allen
The Chargers went all-in on building around Justin Herbert last offseason. Now that the bill is due, the idea that the team would cut Allen, who is arguably Herbert's most reliable target, doesn't make a lot of sense.
Herbert is the most important person in this entire franchise and it is undeniable that he and Allen have a great relationship with great chemistry. If Herbert wants Allen to stay then he is going to stay and the Bolts are going to have to figure out the rest via other means.
Herbert is not the only one that is a fan of Keenan Allen. Tom Telesco was asked about the possibility of moving on from Allen in his post-season press conference and he swiftly made it clear that there was no interest in going down that path.
Some would argue that this is a smoke screen but Telesco publicly coming out in support of Allen, with this kind of quote, shows that fans and the media may not be on the same page as the organization itself when it comes to Allen's value.
We can talk about his age or the fact that he missed time with a hamstring injury all we want. Allen still produced at an elite level — arguably the highest of his career — when he was healthy. Justin Herbert and Tom Telesco know that.