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What the Chargers can do with their cap space after roster moves

The Chargers currently sit at about $28 million in salary cap space. Some of that will be saved for draft pick allocation in addition to the contracts of LA’s recent free agent acquisitions that are not yet baked in. But, as a result of trading Keenan Allen, Joe Hortiz and company have some avenues towards becoming active in the second wave of free agency.

One position the Chargers should be aggressive in acquiring prior to the draft is center. Corey Linsley’s likely retirement has left a hole that is currently filled by Brenden Jaimes. Bradley Bozeman, amongst other potential options, would make a lot of sense given his history. He also doesn’t factor into the comp pick formula because he was cut by Carolina.

Signings like Bozeman’s are what I imagine being the strategy for other positions as well. One-year deals with a positive upside that builds depth so the team isn’t quite as pigeonholed in the draft seems like the way to go.

With Josh Palmer currently the #1 wideout on the depth chart, wide receiver is another position where the Chargers should arguably make an investment post-Allen trade. The market is a bit dry given that the Allen trade happened nearly a week into the tampering/free agency window. Options like Odell Beckham Jr. and Tyler Boyd are projected to get $7-8 million in AAV on shorter-term deals via PFF’s projections. Other less expensive veteran wideouts like Josh Reynolds and Marquez Valdes-Scantling could also be in play.

However, Hortiz did mention the depth of this receiver class before in his media availability at the combine. Considering how deep it is thought to be, there could be an argument for LA to take multiple wideouts as opposed to using the free-agent market.

At linebacker, the team looks to fortify starter, depth, and special teams talent with the signing of Troy Dye and Denzel Perryman. Other depth linebackers could still be appealing as LA explores their options. Zach Cunningham and Isaiah Simmons could play well in coverage with a Jesse Minter scheme.

Another position the Chargers don’t seem set on entering the draft is cornerback. Vet options like Stephon Gilmore and Steven Nelson are still waiting in the second wave of free agency. Cheaper options like Rock Ya-Sin or even a reunion with Michael Davis could also make sense. The Chargers shouldn’t go into the draft with Asante Samuel Jr. being the only starter-level worthy cornerback on the roster.

In any event, the goal for positions like center, wide receiver, linebacker, and cornerback on the roster right now should be getting playable talent for draft leverage. You’re not going to fill every hole in free agency and it’s still a tall task to do it in the draft, even with the newly added fourth-round pick. Giving the roster some breathing room at key spots should be the goal to give LA more flexibility in April.

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire