Mebane still has one year remaining on the two-year, $10.5 million contract he signed this past March. That deal does include an opt-out clause after this season which would carry $2 million in dead money.
The team should exercise that clause.
Mebane turns 35 years old next month and though he brings veteran leadership to the defense, he is another player the team has gotten what it could out of him. Players such as Justin Jones and Jerry Tillery are supposed to represent the team’s future along the defensive line and even players such as Sylvester Williams and Damion Square have a higher ceiling than does Mebane at this point.
Mebane hasn’t played poorly this season. He has 26 tackles and one sack on the year, but there comes a time to move on from every player and in Mebane’s case, that time is now. Some may suggest that the team just use him as a backup in a rotational role and then move on after next season, but that would be a high-priced, aging backup.
Mebane has played well for the most part during his tenure with the Chargers but he’s never been as good as he was with the Seattle Seahawks. At this point, he’s not going to be and the days of him being a force on defense are dwindling away.