Regardless of how the Los Angeles Chargers plan to operate this offseason, they shouldn't lack the financial resources to accomplish their team-building goals. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the NFL informed its teams that the unadjusted 2020 salary cap will fall between $196.8 million and $201.2 million, an increase of more than $8 million from the 2019 figure.
The salary cap has seen substantial jumps nearly every year since the NFL and NFLPA signed the current collective-bargaining agreement in 2011. Those surges have allowed teams to take greater risks in free agency while also retaining more of their key players. It appears that trend will continue next season.
Should the 2020 cap number reach the highest end of the projection, the Chargers would have approximately $60 million in unadjusted cap space. That amount does not include any of the nearly $4 million in 2019 cap space the team could roll over into next year.
It also doesn't factor in possible extensions for quarterback Philip Rivers, tight end Hunter Henry, running back Austin Ekeler, and others, nor does it factor in the possible retirement or release of center Mike Pouncey or other cost-saving roster moves.
While the cap increase will have an effect on the Chargers' free-agency plans, it could also help them retain some of their current stars who might push for new contracts. Defensive end Joey Bosa has played at an All-Pro level this season and has just one season remaining on his rookie contract. General manager Tom Telesco could use some of their cap space to sign Bosa to a multiyear extension and keep the pass rusher in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH