Perhaps the biggest potential free-agent target that LA Chargers fans have been clamoring over this season is Davante Adams. Adams has been one of, if not the, best receivers in the entire NFL in recent years and is set to hit the open market in 2022.
Better yet, the LA Chargers are going to have plenty of cap space to make a splashy move for someone like Adams. According to Over The Cap, the Chargers are projected to have the second-most cap space for next season and have some roll-over cap space from this season as well. With Justin Herbert on his rookie deal, if the Chargers are ever going to spend, now is the time.
Some fans want to see the team spend on defense and that is absolutely fine. I am not going to argue with the Bolts if they instead decide to spend their money on fixing the terrible defense from this season. However, I am also not going to argue if the Bolts decide to sign Adams and give Justin Herbert the best 1-2 punch in the league with Adams and Keenan Allen.
The best part is that Davante Adams projected contract is right in the LA Chargers ballpark.
Pro Football Focus recently posted an article where they projected end-of-season extensions for some upcoming big-name free agents. While PFF is predicting that Adams will stay in Green Bay, that might end up depending on what Aaron Rodgers does. Adams himself has said that Rodgers' decision may play a role in his decision.
It is the amount that we are concerned about and if the LA Chargers are offering the exact same deal and he gets to go play with Allen and Justin Herbert then it would be hard to see him picking Jordan Love and the Packers; especially considering that Adams and Allen have already shared a bromance of sorts on social media.
So what is the projected number? PFF is projecting Adams to get a four-year, $93 million contract with $52 million guaranteed. Adams would make an average of $23.5 million per season.
That is a lot of money and some fans may instantly say no to that kind of price. However, it is a price that the LA Chargers can definitely make work. As it stands right now, Over the Cap projects the Bolts to have $72.7 million in cap space. Bryan Bulaga will be cut, which frees up $10.75 million, but Derwin James will be playing on his fifth-year rookie option, which is a $9 million cap hit that is not currently accounted for.
The Chargers also have just over $8 million in roll-over cap for next season but will have to spend around $10 million on the incoming draft class. When it is all said and done with those figures, the Chargers should have around $70 million to spend. Throw in new contracts to expiring players such as Kyzir White, Justin Jones, Andre Roberts and whoever else the Chargers prioritize and the Bolts should have around $40-45 million to spend just in free agency.
The team can afford to sign Adams to this deal, take a cap hit of $25 million in 2022 and still have some money to spend on the defense. $15-20 million should be enough to sign Akiem Hicks and a corner (similar to what they did with Linval Joseph and Chris Harris in 2020). Throw in a defensive draft in which the only offensive player they take is a right tackle and the Chargers could shore up the defense while also adding Adams.
The team could front-load the deal as well with the guarantees so it does not conflict with a Derwin James extension in the future as well as a Justin Herbert extension. There are a lot of moving parts to account for but the Chargers set themselves up to have a lot of cap space to spend this offseason. They have to utilize it.
And if they utilize it on Davante Adams then great, Justin Herbert might just throw for 5,000 yards.