Chargers Free Agency

4 players who could be cut and become Chargers free agency targets

Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers
Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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Za'Darius Smith
Tennessee Titans v Green Bay Packers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

1. Za'Darius Smith

The Green Bay Packers have a lot of salary-cap fat that they are going to have to trim before the new league year begins. Some of that might be relieved if Aaron Rodgers leaves but the team is still going to try and retain Davante Adams, so they are going to have to free up a lot of money.

Perhaps the biggest candidate to be cut is Za'Darius Smith. Smith has a massive cap hit of $26.9 million this season and while the Packers still have to pay him $12.3 million no matter what, that is $15.2 million that the team can free up in salary-cap space.

That is a lot considering the team is currently $50.7 million over the projected 2022 salary-cap ceiling.

Smith essentially did not play in 2021 as he dealt with a nagging back injury. He played in Week 1 against the Saints and did not appear again until the Divisional Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers. However, that at least shows that his back is at a positive place and an entire offseason will help that.

That back issue, and the fact that he turns 30 in September, is going to lower his free-agent value if he is cut. That could allow the Chargers to swoop in and sign a quality edge rusher for far below market price. The team could even bring in Smith AND re-sign Uchenna Nwosu to add depth to the position and give Joey Bosa more help.

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