Updated Chargers cap space after Corey Linsley contract restructure

Los Angeles Chargers v Indianapolis Colts
Los Angeles Chargers v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Corey Linsley signed a record-setting five-year contract with the LA Chargers prior to the 2021 season and the deal paid for itself in the first two years. Linsley became an imperative member of the offensive line that held everything together. In 2021, the Chargers had the best offensive line they have had in over a decade in large part thanks to Linsley.

After two strong seasons, Linsley was forced to the sideline with a non-emergent heart issue after Week 3. Linsley would not play again and was placed on the injured reserve for the rest of the season.

Linsley told reporters after the season that he was "99%" sure that he was going to be forced into retirement by the heart issue. The Chargers are now preparing for that situation to unfold as the team restructured Linsley's contract to allow the team to save money against the cap this season and soften the salary-cap blow of Linsley's potential retirement.

Chargers salary cap space after Corey Linsley contract restructure:

The Chargers entered the offseason well over the salary cap and making this move with Linsley's contract does create more space for the team. After Linsley's restructure, the Chargers now have $285 million in total salary cap liabilities. That means that the team is still $35.5 million over next season's projected salary cap, per Over The Cap.

With the restructure, Linsley carries a cap hit of $3.8 million for the 2024 season. If Linsey officially retires after June 1 then it will carry a $2.6 million dead cap hit for the 2025 season.

Essentially, all this restructure did was create $2.6 million in extra cap space than if Linsley just retired outright or if the Chargers cut him before June 1. If the Chargers had made that move then they would have had to pay all his bonus money up front and not pay the additional $2.6 million next year. But at this point, every dollar counts.

Los Angeles still needs to create another $50 million or so in cap space at the very least. Spotrac estimates the Chargers' draft class pool to cost $13.077 million in cap space for the 2024 season. That essentially puts the Chargers $48.6 million higher than they need to be, with more room needed if the team wants to make any external additions this offseason.

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