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Chargers part ways with Casey Hayward to open up $9.75 million in cap space

Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward.
With free agency looming, the Chargers decided to release cornerback Casey Hayward in a move that will save them $9.75 million against the salary cap.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

The Chargers continued their salary cap crunching Saturday by releasing starting cornerback Casey Hayward after five seasons.

The move saved the team $9.75 million against the cap, with the NFL free-agent negotiating period set to begin Monday.

“When we signed Casey during free agency … we felt that we were adding a starting-caliber corner who still had a considerable amount of unrealized potential,” general manager Tom Telesco said in a statement. “Not only did Casey realize that potential … he exceeded our high expectations and became a prominent leader for our team both on and off the field.”

Hayward, 31, started 75 games for the Chargers, finishing with 14 interceptions and 217 tackles. He was a Pro Bowler in 2016 — when he led the league with seven interceptions — and 2017.

Last season, Hayward struggled at times and surrendered more big plays than he had in the past. He also dealt with a variety of injuries.

“While the decision to add Casey to the team was obviously one of the best free agent signings we have ever made, this roster-related decision is one of the most difficult,” Telesco said. “At the end of the day, however, this decision does not diminish what Casey has meant to the Chargers organization nor our gratitude for his time here.”

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Hayward was the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for the Chargers and a well-respected veteran in the locker room. He also was a team captain.

Chargers release guard Trai Turner after one season in a move that will save the team $11.5 million against the salary cap.

On Friday, the Chargers released another starter in right guard Trai Turner, saving $11.5 million against the cap.

They now have about $45 million of effective cap space — according to overthecap.com — which was the fifth-most in the NFL as of Saturday.

The Chargers’ biggest needs entering free agency are offensive line, tight end, edge rusher and, particularly now, cornerback.

Their other starting corner, Michael Davis, is set to be a free agent.


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