SAN DIEGO – With the first wave of free agency complete, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert takes a closer look at the highest-paid players at each position for the 2017 season.
And the Los Angeles Chargers have a couple of players on the list.
New left tackle Russell Okung, the only outside free agent the team signed to a deal so far, is slated to be the highest-paid offensive tackle in 2017, with $25 million in guaranteed money and average per year salary of $13.25 million.
Some NFL observers believe Okung’s past play did not warrant the type of payday he received in free agency. Okung has made just one Pro Bowl. He has played a full, 16-game season just one time in his seven-year NFL career, last year with the Denver Broncos.
However, Okung hit free agency when there was a scarcity of talent available at left tackle. Couple that with a weak draft at offensive line and the Chargers were forced to meet Okung’s price in free agency.
The Chargers are hopeful Okung will play up to his potential in the upcoming season.
Melvin Ingram, who received the franchise tag for 2017, is scheduled to make $14.55 million in 2017, No. 4 among linebackers. The Chargers would like to get a long-term deal done with Ingram.
Philip Rivers is No. 9 among quarterbacks, scheduled to make $20.8 million in 2017.
Mike Windt, who signed a four-year, $4.41 million deal to return to the Chargers in free agency, is slated to be the highest-paid long snapper in 2017.
No other player for the Chargers appears among the top 10 in compensation at his position.
According to the NFL Players Association’s latest salary cap report, the Chargers have roughly $17 million in salary cap space, so they still have opportunities to add players where the team is thin at depth such as safety, cornerback and offensive line.