3 contracts holding the Chargers back right now

Los Angeles Chargers v New York Jets
Los Angeles Chargers v New York Jets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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Trey Pipkins' contract is holding the Chargers back

Trey Pipkins does not have one of the biggest cap hits on the team but the fact that he has a sizeable cap hit is holding the team back. Not only is Pipkins contributing to the high cap number this offseason but he is potentially preventing the Chargers from making an upgrade.

Pipkins signed a three-year deal with the Chargers after a breakout 2022 season. Pipkins followed that breakout 2022 season with a dud of a 2023 season. The hope is that new coaches can bring the best side back out of Pipkins but there is a concern that 2022 was the anomaly.

Many fans want to see the Chargers upgrade the right tackle position this offseason but it simply is not feasible. Pipkins has a $8.75 million cap hit in 2024 and it would not be hard for the Chargers to find a more impactful player at a cheaper cost (especially in the draft).

The problem is that the Chargers cannot move off of Pipkins' contract. In fact, if the Chargers were to cut Pipkins before June 1 then the team would actually lose cap space. According to Over The Cap, the Chargers would carry a dead cap hit of $9.5 million if Pipkins were to be cut. The Chargers could save some money if they trade Pipkins but no team is going to be interested in trading draft capital for him at his price.

Thus, the Chargers are stuck with Pipkins and he kind of has to start. Everyone loves to talk about positional value and contract values when arguing that the Chargers shouldn't draft a tight end in the first round, yet those same people who want to draft a tackle ignore that the Chargers would be paying $9 million for a swing tackle. Now that is bad positional value.