Michael Gelhken of the Union-Tribune San Diego takes a look at some of the roster moves the Chargers could consider making before the 2014 league year is officially underway.
Gelhken expects the Chargers place to a priority on re-signing ILB Donald Butler in the coming weeks.
According to Gelhken, is appears “likely” that San Diego will get a deal done with Butler before the start of free agency on March 11.
Butler, 25, has looked like a offseason priority for a few weeks now, so it wouldn’t be surprising in the least to see something get done relatively soon. This season, Butler totaled 84 tackles, .5 sacks, one interception and a forced fumble for the Chargers defense.
We have him currently listed as the No. 75 player in our Top 100 Free Agents list.
The Chargers signed CB Derek Cox to a four-year contract worth $20 million that included $10.25 million guaranteed during the last year’s offseason, and while he did start the team’s first 11 games this season, he was benched in favor of street free agent Crezdon Butler for the team’s playoff game.
Gelhken notes that Cox played just nine defensive snaps over the team’s final seven games. Gelhken adds that “based on how the season ended, it is difficult to conceive Cox returns in 2014.”
San Diego currently is projected to be over the 2014 salary cap, which means roster moves will need to be made. According to Gelhken, releasing Cox would free up close to $2.6 million in 2014 cap space while contributing another $3.9 million in dead money to $7.75 million the Chargers already have after releasing OT Jared Gaither and WR Robert Meachem.
Gelhken adds that the Chargers could always elect to designate Cox as a post-June 1 release, which would push that dead money figure of $3.9 million off to 2015.