This is the one I could potentially board with. If the Chargers decided to cut Khalil Mack and draft a top prospect to replace him, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. After all, Mack is hugely successful and will only be a year older next season.
Mack has the second-highest cap hit at $27.4 million and if the Chargers cut it, they would free up $18.4 million in cap space. That alone is almost enough to take the Chargers out of the negative when it comes to the 2023 cap.
That being said, Mack is a Brandon Staley guy and there’s no way he’s going anywhere with Staley still in town. Plus, Tom Telesco isn’t the kind of GM who can admit someone is a sunk cost and potentially move on.
Instead, Telesco will look at the fact that the Chargers spent a second-round pick on Mack and should already pay him at least $9 million next season anyway. With those two factors in mind, both Telesco and Staley will be against Mack leaving.
Next spring is a different conversation though. Mack will have a cap of $27.75 million hit in 2024 with just $4.5 million in dead money if cut. He may not be a candidate this year, but Mack will almost certainly be eliminated before 2024.