1. Khalil Mack
This is a very controversial topic among Chargers fans and it definitely is the most controversial decision that the new Chargers' brass has to make. Before the 2023 season started, Mack was the most obvious cap casualty prior to the 2024 season. He is entering his age 33 season and is going to carry a $38.5 million cap hit next season.
Mack then went and had arguably the best year of his entire career and was among the top of the league in pressures generated on the quarterback. It was a statement season from Mack and now it seems impossible for the Chargers to move on.
As great as Mack's 2023 was, the Chargers need to make decisions with the future in mind, not the past. The fact of the matter is that at 33 years old, Mack is much more susceptible to injuries and random regression. We see regression happen at the snap of the fingers all the time in the NFL and it is better to be a bit too early in pulling the plug than too late.
While Mack's great 2023 made the decision more polarizing, it actually may have made the decision easier. Since his season was so great there will likely be teams willing to trade a mid-round pick for one year of his services.
The team trading for Mack would only have a $17.55 million cap hit and that is a great price for someone who they think can be an elite pass rusher for one season. Meanwhile, the Chargers can save $23.25 million.
Los Angeles needs to free the salary-cap space and the only other way to do it with Mack is to extend him. Some fans may want that after his 2023 season but it would not be wise to extend someone and pay them through their age 35 season.
It would be shocking if Khalil Mack wasn't traded this offseason.