LA Chargers: Why Davante Adams should be a 2022 free agency priority

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The Green Bay Packers' continuous stream of bad news could work in the favor of the LA Chargers. In addition to the current uncertainty around quarterback Aaron Rodgers, extension talks have broken off with All-Pro wideout Davante Adams:

How the 2021 season plays out for the Chargers probably will be a big factor in whether they go all in for a title run in 2022, but they'll certainly be a team on the upswing with a lot of money to spend. As of now, the Chargers are projected to have the sixth most 2022 cap space in the league at about $50 million.

Adams should absolutely be a priority for the Chargers if he indeed does become available in 2022.

1. It helps the LA Chargers maximize Justin Herbert's rookie contract window

The next three years following the 2021 season are the period to go all in. Justin Herbert's rookie contract isn't going to last forever. That's why they were able to make Joey Bosa the highest paid edge and extend Keenan Allen prior to last season. If Derwin James is able to stay healthy in 2021, he'll be next on the list.

Sure, that's a lot of money if the Chargers are spending if they're going to sign Adams on top of all that. Assuming an Adams' contract makes him the highest paid wideout in the league, the team would be looking at about $28 million in AAV.

There's plenty of ways to free up money though. A few of the options include:

  • Cutting Bryan Bulaga to save $11 million on the cap
  • Letting Mike Williams walk, which makes sense if they're pursuing Adams anyway
  • Replacing Linval Joseph and Chris Harris with smaller (perhaps rookie) contracts

The Chargers are prepared to be tight against the cap anyway to some extent even if they just extend James and Mike Williams as is. They'll also be in an even tighter cap situation when they eventually extend Herbert. That's when the Chargers will really have to find some rookie and veteran production on the cheap, much like Kansas City. Even a team like the Chiefs however is still able to circumvent the cap with Mahomes' contract.

Money should not be a reason to not pursue Davante Adams, especially considering that most of the money on his contract would be paid during Herbert's rookie deal.