Chargers trading Khalil Mack just became much more unlikely

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The LA Chargers enter the offseason with plenty of cap issues that need to be solved. Los Angeles is currently $45.8 million over next year's projected cap, which is the fourth-most in the NFL, per Over The Cap.

While the Chargers are miles above next year's salary cap, becoming cap complacent actually is not that complicated of an equation. There are several big contracts that can be cut off the books, which will put the Chargers not just below the cap, but below the cap with room to spare.

The biggest of which is Khalil Mack, who is entering his age 33 season and has a cap hit of $38.5 million (leads the team). If Mack is traded or cut before June 1, the Chargers would save $23.25 million against the cap next season.

Heading into 2023 it seemed like Mack was destined to be cut after the season. However, because of his breakout season, Mack may interest teams needing an edge rusher as a one-year rental. This has created a potential trade market for the Chargers to cash in on. Unfortunately, Mack's trade market may already be taking a nose dive, as a more prominent option is also available.

Haason Reddick trade market could derail Chargers trading Khalil Mack

If we are just looking at pure sacks then it would seem strange that Reddick being available somehow disrupts the Chargers with Mack. But situationally, Reddick is probably the safer bet to trade for (which is the entire reason why the Chargers should be okay with moving Mack).

Reddick is three years younger than Mack and while that may not seem like much, it matters a lot in the NFL. NFL players typically start to take a turn at 30, with the best of the best prolonging the time in which they are great. At 33 years old, Mack is simply far more likely to regress or to get hurt than Reddick is.

Reddick is a top-tier pass rusher who is younger and cheaper than Mack. Teams trading for Reddick would be taking on his $14.25 million in base salary; whereas Mack's base salary is $17.55 million. A team needing to add a pass rusher is much more likely to pursue Reddick than Mack for those simple, yet important, reasons.

And that could stall out any potential Mack trade talks. That is not to say that a trade is impossible, but any team that theoretically has the space to absorb one year of Mack would prefer to absorb one year of Reddick instead.

With there not being many teams that have the cap space while also having the need for one year of a pass rusher, any team that may have traded for Mack could trade for Reddick instead. And if that happens, the Chargers may have to resort to outright cutting Mack loose.

We'll see what happens in the offseason but you can still claim FanDuel Sportsbook's $150 bonus for any $5 winning bet today! Chargers fans who deposit at least $10 and bet $5 or more on any game will get $150 in bonus bets win or lose. Sign up for FanDuel now!

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