The LA Chargers entered the 2022 offseason with a lot of money to spend and a promising 2021 season in the rear-view mirror where they came up short in the regular season. Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley ended up doing exactly what the fans were asking for and aggressively spent to bolster the roster for a Super Bowl push.
This is by far the most aggressive offseason since Telesco took the reins as general manager in 2013. Typically, when teams are aggressive they sacrifice some financial flexibility and put themselves in a worse situation with the salary cap for the future. Not the Chargers.
While the Chargers have some big contracts on the books and some big extensions on the horizon (looking at you, Derwin James and Justin Herbert), the team is still in a pretty good spot financially. Pro Football Focus recently ranked the three-year salary-cap situations for all 32 NFL teams, taking into consideration effective spending space, draft capital, prorated money and more.
The Chargers have a top-five salary-cap situation in the entire league according to these rankings.
Spending big did not hinder the Chargers as they check in with the fifth-best salary-cap situation in the league according to these metrics. The Chargers actually ranked first in this ranking last year so the team was able to keep itself in a great spot while also adding so much talent on the field.
The Chargers accomplished this by being savvy in how they gave out contracts. Mike Williams' contract ended up being an absolute steal when you consider the other contracts that receivers are getting and will be getting in the future. Williams has just a $14 million cap hit this year, a $19 million cap hit next year and it balloons to a $27 million cap hit in year three. However, the Chargers can get out of that deal if needed to free up a whopping $20 million.
J.C. Jackson's deal ended up being insanely low all things considered. The Chargers have the same late-contract flexibility to get out of it if needed and this season he is only carrying a cap hit of $8 million.
Even the Khalil Mack contract was restructured by the team in order to get more spending space this offseason. With the salary cap expected to spike in the next two years, the Chargers spent at the perfect time and structured everything in a way to be good now and remain flexible in the future.
Hopefully being this cap-savvy can open a true Super Bowl window for the Bolts that gives the franchise its first championship. The team is certainly geared to accomplish that.