The LA Chargers are one of the few teams that are not in a terrible position with the salary cap heading into 2021 and we are starting to see teams cut ties with players to save money. On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Jurrell Casey joined the list of cut players.
The Denver Broncos released Casey to save $13 million in salary-cap space for next season. The Broncos traded just a seventh-round pick for Casey last offseason in a deal that was viewed as an absolute steal.
However, Casey only played three games in 2020 due to various injuries and getting put on the league’s COVID-19/reserve list. He certainly was not worth $13 million.
The hometown product of Long Beach and USC is worth a look from the LA Chargers. In fact, the Chargers should be pushing hard for the hometown defensive lineman in free agency. I know only playing three games last season might be concerning, but the good outweighs the bad.
Why the LA Chargers should push hard for Jurrell Casey:
1. Jurrell Casey is great against the run
The LA Chargers have been unable to consistently put together a good run defense and a big part of the reason is the interior defensive line. Linval Joseph is a solid run defender but only has one year left under contract and that is really all the team has.
Jerry Tillery is awful against the run and Justin Jones is okay, but nothing special. While getting Kenneth Murray to play behind the ball certainly helped, there is still a lot of work to be done.
Casey has made his living in the NFL on being a great run defender. While he is no longer the elite run defender that he once was, he is still more than capable of providing quality snaps for the Bolts and certainly would be better than what the team already has.
Pro Football Focus grades are not the end-all say-all (just look at Justin Herbert’s grades), but they do highlight in a simple manner how good Casey is against the run. Casey has posted a grade of 70 or higher in four straight seasons, even reaching the 90s in 2018.