Chargers sever last remaining tie to Brandon Staley by cutting Eric Kendricks

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

The LA Chargers let both Kyzir White and Drue Tranquill leave in free agency for a combined $6 million after the two linebackers had back-to-back breakout seasons for the Bolts. Then, in a move that didn't make much sense at all, the Chargers decided to sign veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks to a two-year, $13.25 million contract.

Kendricks was going to get paid over twice as much as White and Tranquill ended up signing for combined. While Kendricks is a former All-Pro, he was on the wrong side of 30 and his arrow was definitely pointing down.

The results in 2023 were as predictable as they could have ever been. Kendricks was not awful. but he certainly was not worth the hefty price tag that the Chargers placed on him. That made the veteran linebacker an obvious cap casualty for the 2024 offseason and on Tuesday, the Chargers made the cut official. Kendricks is off the books and the Bolts will save $6.5 million.

Chargers cut Eric Kendricks, wipe themselves clean of last Brandon Staley remnant.

Signing Eric Kendricks was 100% a decision that was influenced by Brandon Staley. The former Chargers head coach recruited Kendricks to the Chargers, and raved about his game after the signing. This prompted Tranquill to fire a not-so-subtle shot at Staley after the Chiefs played the Chargers (without Staley) in Week 18.

There are obviously players that Staley had a say in drafting but with this move, the Chargers have officially wiped themselves clean of the last remaining Staley remnant. Kendricks joins the likes of Sebastian Joseph-Day and J.C. Jackson as players who got the boot from the Chargers.

This signing never made sense and it always felt wrong that the Chargers would pay Kendricks but refused to pay the breakout linebackers who actually produced for the team. Despite being a defensive guru, Staley did not have a great eye for linebacker talent and seemed to make the wrong decision at every turn at the position.

Perhaps Kendricks will reunite with his former head coach in San Francisco as a veteran depth linebacker. Staley does not have as much say with the 49ers now as he did with the Chargers last year, but he obviously likes Kendricks enough to pay him like a top-tier linebacker.

As for the future of the position, the Chargers are going to have to sign at least one cheap free agent, draft at least one linebacker in the 2024 NFL Draft, and hope that Daiyan Henley is good enough to start in his sophomore season.