Los Angeles Chargers To ‘Signficantly’ Slash Payroll Soon: Are Khalil Mack and Keenan Allen on Chopping Block?

The Los Angeles Chargers are currently in a nasty situation with their salary cap ahead of NFL free agency and a top league insider claims fans should expect one or even two big names to be cut from their payroll very soon.

Heading into the week, the Chargers are a staggering $25 million over the salary cap for next season (via OverTheCap). It’s a terrible place to be for a franchise with an expensive new head coach looking to reimagine the culture and roster. That is why during a live stream on Friday, Bleacher Report NFL insider Jordan Schultz said he expects some big payroll slashing soon and it could include some of their best players.

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“The Chargers are in a little bit of a peculiar position because their cap is just not good,” Schultz said. “They have to decide on what they are going to do with Mike Williams. Is that a cut [or] is that a restructure? Joey Bosa has a massive number, Khalil Mack. I would imagine that Keenan Allen’s there next season. He was simply too good [in 2023] and he’s a legacy player there.

“To me, the Chargers are going to make one or two significant cuts and as a result one of them could be Keenan Allen or Mike Williams [but] that would surprise me … I would definitely be on the lookout for the Chargers making significant cap changes to free up some room.”

Could Khalil Mack be a cap casualty for Los Angeles Chargers?

los angeles chargers
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers are in a very difficult position. While they have good talent on the team, their 5-12 finish last season surely doesn’t prove this is a roster that needs to remain the same in 2024. If new general manager Joe Horitz and head coach Jim Harbaugh want to reimagine this team they need to let one of their better players walk this spring.

As of now, the top four money makers on the team are Mack ($38 million annual average value), Bosa ($36 million AAV), Allen ($34 million AAV), and Williams ($32 million AAV). In terms of performance on the field, due to injuries and off seasons in recent years, Bosa and Williams make sense. However, cutting Bosa’s $36 million wouldn’t bring much relief since he has a $22 million dead cap hit for 2024.

Furthermore, despite his injury woes he is only 28 and can offer high-level play at a major position. That is why Williams is the likely odd man out and it has been speculated about recently. If the Chargers wanted to go further, Mack might be the other player they could move on from despite a Pro Bowl season in 2023.

He just turned 33 and at that age a random steep decline in performance is inevitable. While Allen will turn 32 in April, he is also a Pro Bowler and Justin Herbert still needs a go-to option if Williams is sent packing. The cap savings for either would be similar based on their AAV to dead cap numbers.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers Given Several Failing Grades By NFLPA 2023 Player Team Report Cards