1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “Chargers-Strange Way Doing Business”
“Chargers Money Crisis”
The Chargers seem to be on the brink of a great run with a great young quarterback in Justin Herbert.
At least it appeared that way till 7am on Tuesday when word came the Bolts have given running back Austin Ekeler permission to work out a trade with another team, heading into the final year of his contract.
This came on the heels of the weekend news the Chargers scrambled to restructure the contracts of four of its highest paid players to get beneath the salary camp.
What the Chargers did is not unlike what virtually all the money troubled issues teams did in the last 96-hours.
The Bolts went from 20M over the cap to 19M under the cap.
New Orleans, at one point last week was 62M over the cap. Tampa Bay was 55M over the cap. Between them they have redone 10-contracts and the Bucs have released 4-veteran players.
But in doing what the Chargers did, they have created a financial nightmare for themselves in 2024.
They re-did big money deals for Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, plus Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. When they were done with the new math, they got under the cap. But next year Allen and Williams will both carry a cap figure of 30-million each. Mack’s cap figure jumps to a high 36M. Bosa’s number will be at 32M.
No team can operate with those type of cap figures, so somebody, likely multiple players, will be going to leave this franchise before the 2024 season.
On Sunday I thought to myself this will have to be a Chargers team that must get to the Super Bowl before this group is broken up.
But now theTuesday morning incident, Eckeler’s demand to be traded, changes everything.
Eckeler has (7715) all purpose yards as a star running back-receiver. He is linked to Justn Herbert a-la Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
He is one of the top producing multi purpose backs in modern day NFL stats, and yet he is just the 15th highest paid running back in the league.
He is fast-tough-physical and almost impossible to stop in the red zone. He has accounted for 38-touchdowns in the NFL over the last two seasons, and yet the team is not willing to upgrade his contract now.
Do you really think you could be an AFC power if your running backs were Joshua Kelly, Isaiah Spiller or just released Larry Rountree. As brilliant as the Bolts quarterback is, it’s because of the dynamics of that running back that helps make this offense go.
I see Eckeler’s value. So do you. How come John Spanos, the President of Football Ops, and GM-Tom Telesco, and even owner Dean Spanos, don’t value this player after six years of service.
This is the same brain team that gave JC Jackson of the Patriots an 95M-deal only to find out the free agent didn’t fit the style of defense Brandon Staley needed. They burned thru big money with oft-injured Bryan Bulaga,an ailing Packer who did not pan out.
They need to have Mack-Bosa give money back to keep this team together. They need to have Allen-Williams, who have a history of injuries, give money back too.
How do you think you remain a true playoff contender if Eckeler is wearing someone else’s colors next year? I don’t care if you get a 2nd or 3rd round pick for this gem of player, you lose so much value on the field when you have the ball.
I don’t know if the Chargers are cheap, if Spanos is out of money, if Staley doesn’t value the running back or what the hidden rationalization might be.
They could let him play out this year, and franchise tag him next year, but the relationship will be damaged if you take that road.
Really close to being really good and now you are willing to get rid of one of your best weapons. Nice method of operation.
Chargers football-not Chargering again are they?