If you remember back to the long overdue purging of the Big Lazy (AKA Jared Gaither), the San Diego Chargers had to swallow quite a bit of cash as a result of the move. The team still has to deal with the repercussions of an unthinkably terrible contract from last offseason, but at least the blow has been softened a bit for the upcoming season.
The Chargers added $4.5 million in salary cap space to their number on Sunday which will be divvied out to three different areas of the roster. After the release of Gaither with a post-June 1 designation, the Bolts had been scheduled to regain the cap space since late March. This move by new General Manager Tom Telesco will be used to sign the only rookie remaining without a contract in first round pick D.J. Fluker.
After the injury to Melvin Ingram forced the team to sign veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney, San Diego was down to just $150,000 in cap space. While the dead money against the cap from Gaither is still $6 million, only $2 million of it will count in 2013 with the remaining $4 million to be counted in 2014.
As for Fluker getting his deal done, the Bolts are still trying to hammer out the contract language that has been holding the deal up. The rookie is sure to count $2 million against the cap this season as money is not the issue but rather the offset language in the deal. Once the players selected around him in this past April’s 2013 NFL Draft sign their contracts, however, a deal should come swiftly thereafter. As long as he is in camp ready to work from day one, the current standstill won’t be an issue.
San Diego is sure to keep some cash in reserve just in case another catastrophic injury was to strike the team at some point during the season. It’s always nice to have the flexibility to add a productive veteran prior to the trade deadline as well if a playoff push appears imminent. GM Telesco has pushed all of the right buttons so far in his rookie decision making stint, so let’s just hope his success in that department continues.