The Los Angeles Chargers don’t necessarily have to cut any notable names this offseason, but these three players could be surprise cuts.
The Los Angeles Chargers finished just 7-9 last season, but a four-game winning streak sent them into their offseason on a good note. They’ll have a new head coach in former Rams’ defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, which should be a good thing after the Anthony Lynn era grew stale.
With a star young quarterback on a his rookie contract in Justin Herbert, the Chargers are in a nice position. Even with the lower salary cap that’s coming, they have about $23.8 million in cap space right now (according to Over The Cap, $180.5 million cap projection). With one especially notable in-house free agent, tight end Hunter Henry, having room to operate financially will be nice. Henry has already been open about his desire to get a multi-year deal and play with a good quarterback.
“I want to play somewhere there’s a good quarterback,” Henry said. “That’s huge for our position. It makes things a lot easier . . . Playing with a good quarterback always makes things better. You gotta look at both. You gotta look at some of the financial stuff, but not dive too deep into it that you go chasing it because I also want to play with a good quarterback.”
The Chargers have the quarterback box checked, and the money/multi-year deal box is not a reach for them. With an eye on retaining Henry, and making some other moves to bolster the roster, here are three players the Chargers could cut this offseason.
3. OG Trai Turner
Turner was acquired from the Carolina Panthers for Russell Okung last offseason, then he struggled to stay healthy and only played nine games in 2020. Better health could easily bring a rebound for the five-time Pro Bowler, but an $11.5 million cap hit feels big in this environment.
The Chargers can clear all that money off the books by cutting Turner, with no dead money, which has put him high on all the lists of possible cap casualties for them. But that doesn’t mean a move to cut him wouldn’t be surprising, especially because the Chargers could just cut from elsewhere rather than create another void along the offensive line.