NFL Offseason Previews: Los Angeles Chargers
The NFL offseason is upon us, and teams will begin working to craft their 2023 rosters in the coming months. In this series of offseason previews, we will look at what each team has to work with and their biggest needs. Today we continue with the Los Angeles Chargers offseason preview.
As a reminder, here are dates to keep in mind for the 2023 NFL offseason:
- March 7: deadline for teams to use the franchise tag
- March 13: legal tampering period opens
- March 15: NFL free agency begins and the new league year starts
- April 21: deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
- April 27-29: NFL draft
- May 1: deadline for teams to exercise 5th-year options on 2020 first-round draft picks
- July 15: deadline for franchise tag players to sign an extension
You can find previous team’s offseason previews here: Bears | Bengals | Browns | Lions | Packers | Steelers | Vikings | Ravens | 49ers | Broncos |
Making the playoffs for the first time in the Brandon Staley-Justin Herbert era is nice. What happened in the playoffs? Not so much. The Chargers’ 2022 season will forever be remembered for their epic collapse in Jacksonville in the Wild Card round.
The all-time meltdown cost offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi his job, and if it cost Staley his job, I don’t think anyone would have batted an eye.
Key Positional Needs
Here’s where the Chargers need to find help this offseason:
Key Free Agents
Here’s a look at the Chargers upcoming key free agents:
- Oday Aboushi (G)
- Nasir Adderley (S)
- Bryce Callahan (CB)
- Deandre Carter (WR)
- Will Clapp (C)
- Christian Covington (DT)
- Chase Daniel (QB)
- Drue Tranquill (LB)
- Kyle Van-Noy (ILB)
Salary Cap & Draft Capital
Here’s a look at the salary cap room and draft capital that the Chargers have to work with this offseason:
- Current draft picks: 21 (1), 54 (2), 85 (3), 125 (4), 158 (5), 200 (6), 241 (7)
- Cap space: -$20.5M
The Chargers need to add speed on offense and address the run defense on the other side of the ball. Los Angeles allowed 5.4 yards per carry to opponents, a huge reason why I had zero faith in them with a multi-touchdown lead late in the first half in Jacksonville.
They will also have to begin conversations with Justin Herbert regarding a contract extension. Herbert is eligible for an extension, and he’s definitely earned it.
They have to do all this with -$20.5 million in cap space. Yikes. But, such is the NFL, teams will find ways to free up money to add or retain players. Veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen is a potential cap casualty for the Chargers, and he’s not alone.
Outside linebacker Khalil Mack is a cut candidate who could open up $18.4 million. Cornerback Michael Davis could free up $7.4 million. Center Matt Feiler and Defensive tackle Austin Johnson would clear up $6.5 and $3.4 million, respectively. There’s $35.7 million in savings, which would give the Chargers roughly $15.2 million to work with this offseason.
If you’re looking for more offseason reading, Sam Hoppen at 4for4 (our sister company) is previewing each division: