Chargers need to prioritize Michael Davis extension over Austin Ekeler
Chargers would save 2023 cap space
Extending a player under contract usually always provides some cap relief for the current league year. One of Brad Spielberger's ideas for creating Chargers' cap space prior to the start of free agency was extending Ekeler's contract. If Ekeler and the team are still not seeing eye to eye on an extension anytime soon, a Davis extension could be the pivot.
It should be said that after the Chargers' restructures, they don't *need* cap space per se. They've been able to retain their key free agents and signed Eric Kendricks in a low cash spending free agency period.
However, the trade market has been hotter around the league with certain teams looking to get off of big contracts. If the Chargers wanted a little extra cap space to maintain maneuverability, a Davis extension would be their most realistic path toward doing it.
Even if the Chargers may just want depth players via re-signing Kyle Van Noy instead of making a big splash trade a la Khalil Mack last year, the short-term relief would help them. A Davis extension plus a Dustin Hopkins' release post-June 1st would also get the Chargers close to or at the $5 million estimate needed for in-season moves.
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Ekeler's extension was how the Chargers could've saved money in 2023. But if he's testing the free agent market in 2024 without a deal in place this year, Davis is again the next best option in that regard.