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#pounditThursday, July 18, 2024

Will Chargers move on from top WR this offseason?

Keenan Allen watches from the sideline

Jan 9, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) looks on before the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers are in a difficult salary cap situation and will have some decisions to make this offseason, including one with a top wide receiver.

The Chargers are projected to be around $23 million over the salary cap for 2023 (including money needed to sign their draft picks), which means they will have to make some moves to get under the cap. They can do that by cutting players where doing so will give them cap savings, or by trading players. They could also try to restructure the contracts of current players, but that typically has not been their way of doing business.

Since the team needs to cut salary, all you have to do is scan their roster to see who has the biggest cap hits, and that will give you some potential targets.

Joey Bosa ($31 million) and Khalil Mack ($27.4 million) both have big cap hits for 2023, but Daniel Popper, The Athletic’s Chargers reporter, thinks there is another target who could be jettisoned.

Popper believes that Keenan Allen could be cut or traded by the Chargers this offseason due to the team’s cap situation. Allen has a $21.7 million cap hit for 2023 and a dead cap figure of $6.9 million. Cutting him could save the Chargers around $15 million against the cap and get them close to being under the cap.

The Chargers could consider a trade of Bosa as that would get them under the cap. Cutting Mack, a year after acquiring him from the Bears, would also give them significant cap relief.

If the Chargers were to cut or trade either Mack or Allen, then you might expect the team to use its first-round pick on a player at the same position to give them a cheaper replacement.

Allen is a very good player who had three straight 100-catch seasons from 2019-2021. But he only played in 10 games last season, so the Chargers might have some concerns about the 30-year-old’s availability.

The Chargers don’t want to get rid of one of Justin Herbert’s receivers, but this is what makes the NFL great: the strict salary cap forces teams to constantly make difficult decisions, which results in competitive balance and keeps the league interesting.

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