Chargers must forget all about Saquon Barkley after contract projections

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Along with the 31 other teams in the NFL, the LA Chargers have been awarded with more cap space to work with this offseason. For a team over the cap like the Chargers, this added cap space could be huge as it actually opens the door to bringing in external talent.

The Saquon Barkley speculation grew as a result. Barkley was already tied to the Chargers as he was viewed as a "Jim Harbaugh guy" and would theoretically turn the team's run game around. Because he is such a huge name, the idea of signing Barkley became extremely popular among Chargers fans.

In theory, the Chargers could free up enough cap space this offseason to have the room to sign Barkley. While it could be possible in theory, that does not mean the Chargers should do it. If anything, Barkley's projected contract from Pro Football Focus is a reminder as to why the Bolts should stay away.

Saquon Barkley's projected contract proves he would be an awful signing for the Chargers

Any Chargers fans who were pounding the table for the team to sign Barkley should take a step back after seeing this contract projection. PFF has been fairly accurate in past years with contract projections, so fans can expect Barkley to sign a deal similar to this.

The Chargers are not in a position to pay a running back over $12 million a year, especially in a league where running backs are not getting paid. Heck, any number over $7 million is probably too much for a running back for the Bolts, which puts Barkley way out of the team's price range.

Some fans may still be okay with committing all of the team's resources into Barkley even though he is all name with little production. Barkley is a big name in the league who hasn't been producing very much in recent years. The 27-year-old running back had a 40.1% success rate and averaged 3.9 yards per carry last season. Both of those marks were among the worst in the league.

But the Giants have a bad offensive line! Okay, so do the Chargers. Arguing that Barkley would somehow be in a much better situation in Los Angeles than he was in New York is silly. Is there more potential in Los Angeles when it comes to offensive line play? Sure. But if the offensive line was a beacon of success then Austin Ekeler probably would have run the ball better last season.

At the end of the day, the best way to fix the running back situation for next season is to sign a cheap veteran who will probably produce as much (if not more) than Barkley while also drafting a running back in the mid-rounds.

The Chargers can save a lot of money by going this route and would get a better outcome than if the team splurged on a big-name running back.

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