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With Chargers $20 million over the salary cap, coach Brandon Staley explains strategy


Even with an offseason of player moves still to come, Chargers coach Brandon Staley said Tuesday that he loves where the team’s roster sits.

“Compared to last year,” he explained at the NFL combine, “we’re just in such a better place.”

Staley referred to players like Khalil Mack, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Zion Johnson as upgrades from this time a year ago, noting how much better the Chargers’ special teams performed after a 2022 personnel overhaul.

He said, “We usually have our starters for the most part,” while adding that some additions are likely to be made in free agency.

The Chargers remain more than $20 million above the salary cap – according to overthecap.com — and have two weeks to make up the difference.

They are expected to be able to do this without having to cut large pieces like Mack or wide receiver Keenan Allen.

The Chargers’ in-house free agents include four full-time starters: right tackle Trey Pipkins III, linebacker Drue Tranquill, cornerback Bryce Callahan and safety Nasir Adderley, who was benched for one game last season.

Several other key contributors, including defensive lineman Morgan Fox, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and wide receiver/kick returner DeAndre Carter, will also be free agents.

But Staley still expressed optimism as the Chargers prepared to adjust a roster that finished 10-7 and earned a wild card playoff spot.

“We are a much more complete football team,” he said. “Now I want our team to stay healthy. I want our team to be able to play together, because our team was not able to play together (last) year.”

Here’s what else Staley discussed during his session with reporters:

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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