3. Khalil Mack
Speaking of cap casualties, the other leading candidate to get released to make salary cap room is edge rusher Khalil Mack. Mack was part of the restructures that the Chargers made this past offseason and all along he has been a potential cap casualty.
Like Williams, the Chargers essentially guaranteed that this would happen before the season. Los Angeles drafted edge rusher Tuli Tuipulotu in the second round not just to provide depth for this season but to be the eventual Mack replacement on the outside.
Tuipulotu has been exceptional for the Bolts thus far and has more than proven that he is capable of taking over for Mack next season. There now should be no doubts that this will be Mack's last season donning the powder blue.
Mack has played at a high level this season but it is the right thing to do. Chargers fans will naturally be upset by this notion after he just had a six-sack game against the Raiders but it is for the best of the team. At the end of the day, Mack is still slowing down and he will continue to slow down next season.
Because of the restructures, Mack has a $38.5 million cap hit next season. There is no way the Chargers are paying that for someone who will be the team's third-best pass rusher. By cutting him, the team will save $23.25 million.