The offseason can be an exciting time for an NFL team as new talent will be brought into the fold that can improve the chances of a Super Bowl run. Last offseason, the LA Chargers made several aggressive moves that completely reinvented the roster.
Not every offseason can be as eventful as the Chargers' 2022 offseason was. The Bolts entered the offseason with unheralded cap space, giving the team the ability to be aggressive. The same luxury does not exist in 2023.
The salary cap can get confusing and there are a lot of financial decisions that the team is going to have to make this offseason. Here is everything a Chargers fan needs to know about the team's financial status.
How much cap space do the Chargers have?
The NFL salary cap continues to climb with the figure landing at $224.8 million in 2023. The 2022 NFL salary cap was set at $208.2 million, marking an increase of $16.6 million year-over-year. The cap is expected to continue climbing, especially as the league continues to work out new media rights deals.
According to Over The Cap, the Chargers are well over the cap space and have -$20.3 million in cap space in 2023. LA has the fourth-highest cap figure heading into the offseason behind the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
How much salary cap space do the Chargers need to free up in total?
While the team is currently $20.3 million over the salary cap figure, it has to clear up even more money this offseason. This does not factor in the incoming salaries that will be given to the 2023 NFL Draft class.
In total, per OTC, the Chargers are going to have to free up $23.4 million in cap space to become salary cap compliant and pay their 2023 draft class.
How can the Chargers clear cap space?
There are multiple ways that the LA Chargers can clear cap space. The team can cut (or trade) players that do not have a large dead-cap hit and they can restructure contracts to offload some of the cap hit for the 2023 season.
Dead cap is how much money a team would have to pay someone if they cut them. Right now, the Chargers have the second-least dead money in the NFL. Restructuring, meanwhile, takes a player's salary and converts it to a signing bonus, which stretches out the cap hit for the remainder of the contract.
- Cut candidates for the Chargers
- Restructure candidates for the Chargers
- How the Chargers can free up $36 million against the salary cap
Who are the Chargers free agents?
The Chargers are naturally going to look to free up extra cap space in order to bring back several key free agents. While the team has a long list of free agents this offseason, there are several names for fans to keep an eye on.
Unrestricted free agents:
- LB Drue Tranquill
- RT Trey Pipkins
- DL Morgan Fox
- CB Bryce Callahan
- LB Kyle Van Noy
- WR DeAndre Carter
- P J.K. Scott
- LB Troy Reeder
Restricted free agents:
- Donald Parham
- Jalen Guyton
- Breiden Fehoko
- Storm Norton
- Foster Sarell