Predicting the Chargers' next moves after two key restructures
4. Re-sign Trey Pipkins
The first free-agent-adjacent move that the LA Chargers should make this offseason is re-signing Trey Pipkins. Much like how re-signing Mike Williams kickstarted things last offseason, re-signing Pipkins could be the catalyst that gets everything else in motion for the Bolts.
The Chargers are not going to be able to spend much money in free agency. While they can end up with over $22 million in cap space, not all of that money can be spent on free agents. The team still needs to save for the draft class as well as having an in-season budget.
Realistically, the Chargers would have around $15 million in salary-cap space to spend in free agency after these moves. That also is not factoring in any post-June 1 cuts, such as Dustin Hopkins, that can free up more space for in-season moves. For simplicities sake, we will assume the team has $15 million to spend in free agency.
Pipkins will take up a decent chunk of that budget but is not going to take up all of it. Pipkins probably gets a deal similar to that of Morgan Moses last offseason. Moses and Pipkins are different right tackles but their evaluation seems around the same. Moses signed a five-year, $15 million contract and had a $2.58 million cap hit in year one.
The Chargers can manipulate the contract where Pipkins will have a lesser cap hit in his first season. A three-year, $18 million contract seems fair for Pipkins. The Chargers can get his first-year cap hit to be $4 million without it hindering the rest of the deal. That would still give the Chargers $11 million to spend in free agency.
That is enough to potentially bring back the likes of Donald Parham and Jalen Guyton as restricted free agents. Heck, Drue Tranquill might even be possible for the right price.
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The Chargers could have become cap compliant without restructuring Allen and Williams. The fact that they did that indicates they want to do more than just become cap compliant. They want to create enough money to re-sign certain players. Pipkins now seems like a slam-dunk re-sign.