The Los Angeles Chargers’ salary cap situation is an ugly one. They had to do some cap gymnastics to become compliant this offseason and things aren’t going to get any easier next year. Right now, the Chargers are projected to be $73.9 million over the cap.
While Los Angeles is hoping to become Super Bowl contenders, they have to keep an eye on the future. If the opportunity presents itself to clear some of that money off their books, even if it means a slight hit to their performance in the present, they will think long and hard about it.
One of the players who could fall into that category is wide receiver, Keenan Allen. Allen was recently named as one player the Chargers should consider trading by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report. While running back Austin Ekeler could have easily been selected, as he was granted permission to seek a trade earlier this offseason, it is hard to argue against Allen’s inclusion.
Allen is coming off of an injury-riddled season in which he appeared in only 10 games in the regular season. While certainly concerning, he did at least remain productive, catching 66 passes for 752 yards and four touchdowns.
The 10-year veteran is under contract through 2024, but it is hard to envision the Chargers retaining him at his current price tag. He carries a $34,717,500 cap hit in 2024 and trading him would save the team $23.1 million.
That is a tough number to ignore when considering their salary cap situation. Also, a massive extension for quarterback Justin Hebert is on the horizon, so the front office has to keep that in mind as well.
The team also used their 2023 first-round pick on wide receiver Quentin Johnston out of TCU. He is the future of the position along with Mike Williams and possibly Joshua Palmer, who is entering the final season of his rookie deal.
The Chargers should be able to get something of value in return for Allen should he make it to the trade block. Adding some draft capital while clearing valuable cap space would be an ideal outcome for the team. Tough decisions are made every offseason because of salary cap situations and trading Allen would help Los Angeles get ahead of things for 2024.