The LA Chargers have one of the best quarterbacks in the entire sport and that prompted the team to be very aggressive during the 2021 offseason. With a lot of cap space to spend, the Chargers went out and made sure to have a spring that fans wouldn't forget.
The bill is always due and even though the salary cap went up in 2023 the LA Chargers find themselves in a position needing to shed money. According to Over The Cap, the Chargers need to free up $20.3 million just to become cap compliant and that is before the team has to pay its 2023 draft class.
As it stands right now, the Chargers have the fourth-most money on the books this season. With that kind of payroll comes some pretty large salary cap hits.
Chargers' biggest salary cap hits in 2023:
1. Joey Bosa - $31 million
Joey Bosa has the largest cap hit for the LA Chargers this season and that makes him a prime candidate to be restructured. It will result in more dead money down the line if they eventually cut him but that shouldn't happen as he will only be 30 when his contract expires.
Prior to any contracts given out in free agency, Bosa has the largest cap hit of any edge rusher in the entire sport in 2023.
2. Khalil Mack - $27.4 million
Right behind Bosa is his counterpart on the other side of the defensive line, Khalil Mack. Mack's salary-cap hit is almost $30 million with the Chargers having the ability to cut him to save $18.4 million.
Cutting Mack at this point in time does not make sense as the team still needs him. However, if they draft an edge rusher early in the 2023 NFL Draft to groom as his replacement then he could be cut next season, where the Chargers would save $23.25 million.
3. Keenan Allen - $21.7 million
There has been a lot of talk about Keenan Allen being a cap casualty this offseason and we here at Bolt Beat are not buying it. While the Chargers would save money, they also would be making a thin receiver room even thinner by doing this.
If the team were to cut or trade Allen then the remaining receiver room would consist of Mike Williams, Joshua Palmer and Michael Bandy. That is it. How about we don't make Justin Herbert's offensive weapons worse?
4. Mike Williams - $19 million
Many Chargers fans thought the Chargers overpaid for Mike Williams when they signed him to a three-year, $60 million contract last offseason. However, every new contract that is signed with a wide receiver makes Williams' deal look better and better.
Before any new deals are signed this offseason, Williams checks in with the 14th biggest cap hit among wide receivers. That is not bad considering guys like Courtland Sutton and Allen Robinson are making almost the exact same.
5. J.C. Jackson - $17 million
The Chargers are probably already having buyer's remorse with J.C. Jackson. Jackson struggled early last season and then suffered a torn patellar tendon injury, which players typically do not come back from.
It is unclear when Jackson will return (if at all) in 2023. Michael Davis stepping up in his absence really helped the Chargers but it still is a bummer when you have the ninth-highest-paid CB and he might not even play.
Rounding up the rest of the top-10 cap hits for the LA Chargers are the following players:
- 6. Corey Linsley - $13.1 million
- 7. Austin Johnson - $9.5 million
- 8. Michael Davis - $9.4 million
- 9. Derwin James - $9.1 million
- 10. Sebastian Joseph-Day - $9.0 million
Derwin James is the most surprising player that is in this bottom half of the top 10 as many would expect him to be one of the largest cap hits. His cap hit balloons to $19.8 million next season, $23.8 million the following year and $24.6 million in the final season.