“Chargers-Pay Day Coming–Will You Pay the Price?”
The Chargers are two years removed from leaving San Diego.
They’re in 2-places few ever thought they would wind up.
One, in Los Angeles, where they will move into the Rams-owned stadium a year from now, being a tenant, not an owner of their future financial destiny.
Two, having to prepare to fork out the most amount of money they will eve have to pay, to two of their star players.
Dean Spanos has been in the LA market for two years, has hardly ever spoken to the LA media, and his franchise remains on the outside looking in, in terms of acceptance in a market owned by the Dodgers, Lakers, and Rams.
Progress has been slow , but the franchise is winning. A year from now they go into the new Hollywood Park Stadium, being built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
Spanos will also venture into the new territory of having to pay his star quarterback and running back mega contracts.
Philip Rivers is in the final year of his contract. The future Hall of Famer has a salary cap figure of 23M this season.
His new contract will likely be (3Y-70M) with probably 30M of it guaranteed and upfront, if you consider what Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees and others are earning. The starting point for Rivers could be 26M a season.
Rivers has never been about the money, but even he might not be willing to take a radically lower priced contract, heading to the twilight of his career.
Add to that, running back Melvin Gordon is headed into free agency too. The state of the art deals for players like him, revolve around the 14M a year package the Jets just gave Le’Veon Bell.
The Spanos family like to think of themselves as wheeler-dealers in the NFL, but the truth of the matter, they are among the poorer owners in the league financially, despite playing in the 2nd biggest market the country.
Spanos net worth is reportedly 1.1B. Compare that to Kroenke’s net worth of 12.8B according to Forbes Magazine.
The Chargers can franchise tag Gordon next year, but even that brings a guaranteed 13.6M figure, and who knows if he’d play under a 1-year deal, or sit out and demand a multi year package and a huge signing bonus, which other star players earn.
So the Chargers owners may think they’re doing well in the LA market, but the financial ledgers don’t show that. Remember Spanos had to borrow the 500M territorial fee from banks to make the move into the LA market.
Didn’t have the money two years ago. Most doubt he has the money now either, for what is coming.
And now a bigger challenge. Are they willing to pay ‘state of the art’ money to their best players,?
Or maybe the real question, where are they going to get the money to pay their stars.