San Diego Chargers Catch a Small Break, NFL Salary Cap to Rise by 5%

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Already up against the Salary Cap, the Chargers get a little bit of breathing room in the salary cap, all before even making changes to any contracts.

Good news came in this morning for the San Diego ChargersAdam Schefter has reported that the league wide salary cap will be set at $130 million. That's a 5% increase from just a year ago, and $4 million higher than the $126 million that was being floated around the last few months. Once you factor in all 32 teams, this amounts to an extra $128 million than was previously projected; it's basically as if the NFL just added a 33rd team.

An extra $4 million might not seem like much on a per-team basis, but for a team like the Chargers, who currently sit at $123.7 million, every million counts. This not only gives them more wiggle room to sign their own free agents, like the Donald Butler's, the Chad Rineharts, and the Darrell Stuckey's, but it helps them go out and possibly spend a little bit more on a position of need.

I'm no salary cap expert, but looking at that same over the cap site as I linked above, the Chargers can free up even more money. Here's some money that the San Diego can free up.

That's $13.15 million freed up by guys that I would call replacement level or worse players. I know there's not much depth on the team, but Jarret Johnson isn't getting any younger and was banged up quite a bit this last year. They can save $2.5 million if they don't bring him back.

We're still a few weeks away from the time free agency starts, the date the Chargers would have to be compliant with the salary cap is March 11. It'll be interesting keep an eye on who's cut and who's retained as we get closer to that date.

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