3 contracts that are significantly holding back the Chargers right now
By Jason Reed
The LA Chargers are in a unique situation where the team is legitimately going all-in to win a Super Bowl in the near future. Los Angeles had arguably the most aggressive offseason in franchise history in 2021 and followed that up with several extremely bold restructures to create space in 2022.
It is hard to blame Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley for being this aggressive. Both of their jobs may be on the line in 2023 and if things don't work out the future salary-cap situation will be someone else's problem to solve.
All that being said, there are some inflated contracts currently on the books for the Chargers that are holding the team back. NFL teams have more leverage in getting out of deals than any of the other professional sports but these deals are still an issue.
3 contracts that are holding the Chargers back:
- Contract: Six years, $141 million (originally signed with Chicago Bears)
- 2023 salary-cap hit: $16.6325 million
- Years remaining: 2
Khalil Mack only has two more years under contract with the LA Chargers as the team absorbed the last three years of his deal when they traded for him from the Chicago Bears. While Mack was solid last season, the Chargers did pay an elevated price for what he contributed to the team.
Meanwhile, Uchenna Nwosu signed a cheaper two-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks and produced more in the pass-rushing department than Mack did. The situations were different, sure, but it is worth questioning if it was worth a second-round pick and this much salary-cap space.
The Chargers had the ability to get out of Mack's deal almost completely unscathed in 2024 in what will be his age 33 season. However, the team needed salary-cap space this offseason so they orchestrated a max restructure on his deal. It lowered his cap hit this year but significantly raised the dead-money hit next year.
Mack has a $38.5 million cap his in 2024. As of right now, that is the 10th-highest cap hit for the 2024 season in the entire league and is the largest for any player on the defensive side of the ball. Better yet, Joey Bosa checks in at 11th right behind him.
Mack is almost undoubtedly going to be a cap casualty next season but it will still cost $15.2 million for the team in dead money.