Savvy free-agent signing just got even better for the Chargers

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The LA Chargers have operated around the edges when it comes to free agency this offseason. Prior to free agency beginning, new GM Joe Hortiz made it clear how much he loves compensatory picks and the Chargers' moves since then have indicated such a love.

Where possible, the Chargers have signed free agents who do not count towards the team's compensatory formula as they were released by their previous team. That has not been the case for every free-agent signing but the Chargers have still come out in the positive in this regard.

There has been an obvious calculus that the Bolts have been following and that calculus tipped more in the team's favor on Tuesday. Denzel Perryman was originally reported to have signed a $3 million contract with the Chargers but the real number is actually lower.

At $2.175 million, Perryman's average annual salary (one-year deal) is not large enough to qualify for the compensatory formula.

Chargers' Denzel Perryman signing just got even better

Bringing back the former Chargers linebacker on a cheap one-year deal was already a great move for the team. Los Angeles desperately needed linebacker help and Perryman is still a serviceable, above-average run defender.

The added benefit of not counting toward the compensatory formula makes this signing even better for the Bolts. By getting such a bargain on Perryman's deal, the Chargers are now projected to get three compensatory picks in the 2025 NFL Draft instead of just two.

As it stands right now, the Chargers are projected to get two sixth-round picks thanks to Kenneth Murray and Gerald Everett. The Austin Ekeler contract cancels out with the Gus Edwards deal and Michael Davis' deal ($3.58 million) originally canceled out with Perryman's contract.

But with Perryman making less than the threshold, the Chargers are projected to get a seventh-round pick from Davis signing with the Washington Commanders.

Getting two sixth-round picks and one seventh-round pick might not seem like a big deal but it is. That gives the Chargers three more chances to build out cheap depth on the roster with the chance of developing young prospects out of next year's draft.

It is also important to note that Hortiz made it clear that he will make in-season trades if they make sense for the team. With these extra picks, the Chargers may be more willing to part ways with a day three selection in order to improve the roster.

By this contract being cheaper than expected, the Chargers essentially got an extra draft pick for nothing (if all else holds). More assets is always a good thing in the NFL, even if it is just a seventh-round pick.