The Los Angeles Chargers have decided to part ways with a player who has frustrated the fanbase for the past couple of seasons.
Tom Telesco has decided to release Jahleel Addae just prior to the start of free agency, opening up numerous possibilities for the team. It should also mean that the team will re-sign Adrian Phillips, who is coming off a tremendous season.
After going undrafted out of Central Michigan in 2013, it looked like Addae was set to become a star in the league.
He played in all 16 games as a rookie and began developing a reputation as a tough, hard-nosed defender. That all led to him being rewarded with a four-year, $22 million contract in 2017. Unfortunately, it was around that same time in which his level of play seemed to diminish.
He seemed to get lost in coverage far too often as well as taking terrible angles on tackles. With Derwin James in the secondary, many of Addae’s weaknesses may have been masked but when he was the man responsible for making a big play, he failed far too often.
At the same time, Addae should be recognized for his efforts on the team. He did extremely well for an undrafted player but the addition of James put him in a spot where he was just playing out of position. It’s not a complete knock on Addae that he is being released, it’s more a case of him just not being a fit for this team anymore.
According to a source, the Chargers are releasing S Jahleel Addae.
— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) March 9, 2019
The Chargers will take a $1 million hit in dead money, but Addae was going to count $6 million against the salary cap this season. The move gives the team much more wiggle room in free agency.
And what about the free-agent market? According to Spotrac, the Chargers have $27.9 million in available cap space.
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The Chargers could look to free agency or the draft for a replacement, but Telesco may also be satisfied with the players already on the roster. The team decided to re-sign Jaylen Watkins, who missed all of last season due to injury. Rayshawn Jenkins is still in the mix as well.
The key will be Phillips. The money saved by moving on from Addae could very well be given to him and he might take over as the team’s other starting safety.
One other option could be to sign the veteran Tashaun Gipson, who was recently released by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Just three years ago, I talked about how he would be a good fit with the Chargers. The Jags were willing to spend the money, but three years later, he could still be a good fit.
That being said, we know that Telesco is not one to go out and splurge on free agents, particularly at the safety spot. It could be much more likely that the team is happy with what it has in Phillips and will allocate money elsewhere.