All credit to Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego:
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Adrian Cannon represents dead money for the Chargers.
The undrafted receiver out of Maryland was signed July 28 and waived Aug. 13. But he will be on the Chargers’ books for another year.
His $500 signing bonus was paid immediately. But for salary cap purposes, it was prorated over three years. Since he was cut, the Chargers will absorb the final $334 of that in 2012.
That is but one of the quirks discovered when examining the Chargers’ payroll — from Philip Rivers’ $13.51 million cap number down to Cannon’s $166 — for last season.
Most pertinent is the amount of money spent on players that suffered significant injuries.
Three of the seven highest-paid Chargers in 2011 finished the season on injured reserve. In fact, one (defensive end Luis Castillo, who made $4.5 million) didn’t make it past the first game, and two others (guard Kris Dielman, who made $5.5 million, and offensive tackle Marcus McNeill, who made $5 million) played fewer than 600 snaps each.
Nine of the 28 Chargers who counted more than $1 million against the salary cap missed at least three games in 2011. In all, 11 of the team’s 33 highest-paid players (base salary and bonuses actually paid in 2011) missed a combined 103 games this season, earning a total of $17.957 million for those games they were mere spectators.
Of 20 highest-paid Chargers players, 12 were on offense and two were kickers.
The best value, hands down, was Jared Gaither, who was acquired via waivers on Nov. 30, started six days later at left tackle and the remaining four games thereafter. At a cost of $201,470.59, he played 317 snaps and did not allow a single sack or even a quarterback hit.
Conversely, through no fault of his own, Castillo suffered a fractured tibia in the fourth quarter of the season opener. Based on his actual earnings of $4.5 million and the fact he played 31 snaps, the Chargers paid him $145,161 and change per snap.
Nate Kaeding made $1.8 million for a kickoff and an attempted tackle, and the Chargers paid his replacement, Nick Novak, $564,705.
The Chargers also paid receiver Laurent Robinson $50,000 for what was essentially an audition for the Dallas Cowboys, and ended up paying Bryan Walters $375,000 for three catches and to imitate Tim Tebow in practice.
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