The Los Angeles Chargers have decided against exercising the $9.5 million option on the contract of Corey Liuget, making the veteran defensive lineman a free agent.
The news was announced by the team’s official website on Tuesday, saving the Chargers big when it comes to the salary cap for the coming season. However, Liuget may not have played his last down in a Chargers uniform.
Though Liuget is now a free agent free to sign with any team, he could still come back to the Chargers on a much smaller deal. He will have to weigh his options, depending on how many teams are interested in his services.
Liuget is coming off a turbulent season that started with him being suspended due to a PED violation. In Week 11, he suffered a season-ending injury. All of this limited him to just six games in 2018 where he had 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
For his career, Liuget has 274 tackles, 24 sacks, six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. The former first-round pick turns 29 years old in March.
The Chargers will have some interesting decisions when it comes to the defensive line this offseason. Brandon Mebane, Damion Square and Darius Philon will all be free agents as well.
Liuget may want to see what other teams have interest. He has just six sacks in the last four seasons with the Bolts and a fresh start could do him well.
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The Chargers will likely make a strong push to bring him back though. Despite 2018 not being his best season on the field, Liuget made tremendous contributions off the field. In addition to helping with the American Heart Association and speaking to kids in juvenile hall, he also made an appearance at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of one of the country’s worst mass shootings.
For all of this, he was chosen as the Chargers’ nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2018, a very prestigious honor.
The only players on the Chargers roster that have been with the team longer than Liuget are Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates and long snapper Mike Windt.