AFC Rival Trades for Chargers Star in ESPN Prediction

ESPN predicts a Khalil Mack trade between the Chargers and the Houston Texans.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers are in cap space hell this offseason. They are $35 million over the effective cap space, according to OverTheCap, the fourth-worst situation in the NFL. That is not the position a 5-12 team wants to be in.

This signals radical changes in the offseason. The new decision-makers; general manager Joe Hortiz and head coach Jim Harbaugh, will need to be bold and creative in their offseason maneuvering to bolster the roster while also getting under the cap.

The two biggest decisions will be regarding Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, the two players with the largest cap hit on the team. ESPN writer Aaron Schatz has a prediction for what the Bolts will do with each player.

Chargers Rumors: ESPN Predicts A Khalil Mack Trade with the Texans

Schatz projects that the Chargers will trade both Bosa and Mack. For Bosa, he identified the Packers, the Chiefs, and the Lions as potential trade partners. However, due to Bosa's salary and injury concerns, it is difficult to see Los Angeles getting much in return in a potential deal.

Khalil Mack, however, is a different case. The 33-year-old pass rusher miraculously had one of the best seasons of his career, finishing with 17 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. He also played in every single game ever since he joined the Chargers two seasons ago.

It behooves the Chargers to trade Mack while he is still at the top of his game and can bring back valuable assets. Schatz identified the Houston Texans as a potential trade partner for Mack.

The Texans have $57 million in cap space. They can absorb Mack's $38.5 million cap number and slot him across from their edge defender Will Anderson Jr. It will likely require at least one early-to-mid round draft pick to lure Mack from Los Angeles.

This would save the Chargers $23 million in cap space if they moved Mack before June 1. That kind of savings might be too difficult to pass for the new front office.

Regardless of what the Chargers end up doing in free agency, they are considered a long shot to make any noise next season. FanDuel Sportsbook has their odds of winning the Super Bowl at +3000.

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