Okay, so we know that the San Diego Chargers will probably cut Donald Butler this offseason. However, that's leads to another question....
Who else might the Chargers cut this offseason?
Well, it's complicated.
The only real reason for cutting a player is because he's worth a lot less than he scheduled to be paid, either because his talent level has declined or because a better (cheaper) replacement has been found.
Do the Chargers have any of those guys? Of course they do! But that's not the end of the equation....
Due to NFL's salary cap rules, it almost never makes sense to cut a player with a lot of years left on his contract. Doing so will leave the team with a hefty penalty, the result of a big signing bonus, against their salary cap this year. That penalty can be split over three years, but it's never ideal to lose money and an NFL-caliber athlete on the same day.
So, do the Chargers have anyone that is overpaid with just 1 year left on their contract? Or someone with a weird "out" clause in their contract that the team can activate (like Butler)?
Here's a list of the guys that the Chargers would actually save cap space by cutting, along with how much cap space the team would save by cutting them:
- Mike Scifres - $3.5 million
- Donald Brown - $3.5 million
- Trevor Robinson - $2.3 million
- Sean Lissemore - $1.75 million
- Kavell Conner - $1.0 million
- Steve Williams - $700k
- Tourek Williams - $675k
Yes, i could've included guys like D.J. Fluker, Keenan Allen, and Manti Te'o on this list, but to think that there's any chance they would get cut is absurd. The same could probably be said for Conner, Williams and Williams, who are all pretty good bargains by NFL standards.
I think everyone from Lissemore down on that list is safe. I think Trevor Robinson should be cut, at least I would cut him, but I don't think he will be.
Mike Scifres is a slam dunk. He supposedly was (or is?) going to retire this offseason, he's not nearly as effective as he once was, and the team can save a bunch a ton of money by replacing him with a undrafted free agent rookie punter.
Donald Brown should be a slam dunk, but we know that the Chargers (and Tom Telesco) are irrational when it comes to Brown.
$7 million added to the $10 million that will come off the books when Eric Weddle becomes a free agent leaves the Chargers with plenty of cap space to make a big splash in free agency. Will they make that move?