Chargers Free Agency

Release of Addae shows growth in Chargers’ GM Tom Telesco

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 31: Jahleel Addae #37 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after the Chargers fumble recovery during the game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center on December 31, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 31: Jahleel Addae #37 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after the Chargers fumble recovery during the game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center on December 31, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Chargers made a big change on the defense, one that shows much-needed growth in the front office…

It’s important for general managers to realize that their draft picks or free agent signings are hindering the growth of the team; for the Los Angeles Chargers, safety Jahleel Addae became that hindrance. Addae was an important part of the Chargers’ defense in 2017, racking up 96 tackles as a strong safety. In 2018, however, not only did Derwin James completely change the landscape at safety, but emerging star Adrian Phillips turned into a better tackler and coverage player as Addae regressed in one of his worst seasons. That, along with the return of former Philadelphia Eagles free safety Jaylen Watkins, made No. 37 expendable:

According to a source, the Chargers are releasing S Jahleel Addae.

— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) March 9, 2019

This move was undoubtedly difficult for Telesco, as Addae was one of the first undrafted free agent gems he ever discovered. Both were brought to the Chargers in 2013, and as the years went on both progressed and improved. Addae’s release, despite being called for by many fans, does come as a surprise to many who believed the six-year veteran would once again start at free safety.

This move strengthens my faith in the front office to make the necessary decisions to put forth the best team possible. Free safety was a massive problem heading into the draft and free agency; now, with a bevy of solid options to either select or sign, the Chargers have the ability to pair All-Pro safety James with a player of his caliber. It also sets a precedent for other potential moves. If Telesco is honest enough to cut Addae, fans can believe he has a plan for other players like WR Travis Benjamin, RT Sam Tevi, and LG Dan Feeney, three players he’s invested in that need to be replaced. It’s unlikely all three positions are upgraded by new players, but the idea that Telesco can part ways with long-term starters with significant personal investment for the betterment of the team is a positive sign moving forward.

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