Aiming Super Bowl, Jim Harbaugh Forced to Do ‘Surgery’ as Chargers Face Salary Cap Woes, as Per Insider

Published 02/24/2024, 5:25 AM EST

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Jim Harbaugh is back in the NFL, but his responsibilities are even loftier than it seems. The Los Angeles Chargers concluded their 2023 season with a disappointing performance fueled by poor defensive plays and injuries. To overcome such issues and fill the drought of the Super Bowl victory for the first time, the franchise has brought in its coaching strategy weapon in the form of Harbaugh and he is “eager to take a crack.

In a recent episode of The Rich Eisen Show, famous NFL insider Tom Pelissero, talked about the cap casualties and teams’ future. The show’s host asked Pelissero to name some players who might give a shock by turning into cap casualties and about their availability over the next few weeks.

Pelissero said “I don’t know that there’s any real shocks in terms of um you know the cap casualties. There’s a bunch of the running backs that need to get things you know figured out…” However, he added, “I’ll give you the team to watch, Rich. It is the Chargers. Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz are coming in. It’s a new regime, and no matter who is taking over, you are going to have surgery to do on that roster because they had a handful of guys who ate up like 85% of their salary cap last year.”


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Pelissero named key players like Joey Bosa, who faced injuries, and standard performers like Khalil Mack — with 17 sacks last year — who are all part of this mix. With Harbaugh aiming for a Super Bowl immediately, tough decisions lie ahead for the Chargers. He mentioned that whether through trades or cuts, they will need to address various aspects of their roster, considering players like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Derwin James Jr., and the impending free agency of Austin Ekeler.

The insider also said, “… They’re going to have to make some decisions here because they’ve got some other spots in that roster that they need to fortify and if they can turn one or two of those veteran players into picks or additional assets I think that they are going to be fully exploring that.” 


As Pelissero highlighted, Harbaugh’s approach is not about gradual rebuilding; it’s about making moves to contend for a Super Bowl, but this requires strategic decisions, possibly involving trades to acquire additional assets. As per Spotrac, LA has a $263,406,038 adjusted salary cap and a negative $20,833,735 cap space with them.

So, the NFL fans are awaiting the 2024 offseason trades and will watch for Harbaugh’s move toward the Super Bowl.

What is Jim Harbaugh’s process and mission with the Chargers?


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In an interview last month, after replacing Brandon Staley as the HC of the Chargers, Jim Harbaugh shared that he had discussions with key players like Keenan Allen, Derwin James Jr., and Justin Herbert. Harbaugh expressed his love for Michigan and the NFL, emphasizing the allure of chasing an NFL championship and the Lombardi Trophy.

The Michigan alumnus acknowledged, “I love Michigan, but I love the NFL too. There’s no Lombardi in college football. I’ve got so many sands left in the hourglass, and I want to take a crack at that.”


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He added, hoping to build the Chargers, “We work together. We win together. It’s worth it. The hard work, the sacrifice, the pressure, all of it. Why would somebody put themselves through that? Because the rewards are so darn good.This proves Harbaugh has a crystal clear vision as he enters the NFL after 10 years.


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Written by:

Bhwya Sriya


One take at a time

Bhwya Sriya is a senior NFL writer at EssentiallySports. She actively covers Live games and Breaking News with a specialization in injury reports. Certified for excellence in beat reporting, Bhwya also leads our annual Super Bowl coverage.
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Edited by:

Shubhankar Adhikari