Chargers general manager Tom Telesco was asked about pay cuts for inside linebacker Takeo Spikes and tight end Randy McMichael. According to Gehlken, Telesco said: “you still need some of those guys. You can’t have 22 guys that are 24-years old. You have to blend in that experience and leadership. That’s big.”
The cap hit for Spikes in 2013 will be $3.7 million, while the cap hit for McMichael will be $1.6 million. Spikes and McMichael are entering the final year of their contracts.
Spikes’ best season happened in 2004 when he was an All-Pro linebacker with the Buffalo Bills. McMichael’s best season was in 2004 with the Miami Dolphins, when he had 73 receptions, 791 yards and four touchdown receptions. There is a need for a veteran presence on every roster, but time will tell what happens with them.
According to Gehlken, the Chargers are open to pay cuts for roster room. The cap hit for San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is $17.1 million in 2013, and the cap hit for free safety Eric Weddle is $8.6 million. Gehlken believes that Rivers and Weddle would listen to the idea of taking a pay cut.
Telesco could release injury-prone left tackle Jared Gaither who has a $6.5 million cap hit in 2013. Telesco could also consider releasing return man Eddie Royal who has a $4.5 million cap hit.
Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer started all 16 games at right and left cornerback in 2012, and both are free agents. Jammer is not expected to return, but re-signing Cason should be a priority because San Diego’s other cornerbacks have a combined eight career starts.
The former Director of Player Personnel for the Indianapolis Colts will have some important decisions to make for San Diego to gain more cap space.