In an unsurprising move, the San Diego Chargers have voided Larry English’s contract. English had another quiet year, but an injury late in the season ended his season early. In English’s tenure with the Chargers, he played in 52 games and only started nine of those games.
He was the surprise pick of the 2009 NFL Draft under A.J. Smith. The GM drafted English to replace Shawne Merriman. Many draft projections that year had San Diego taking either Rey Maualuga (38th overall) or Clay Matthews (26th overall). Both would have been better fits, but of course, hindsight is 20/20. Letting go of English closes the door on San Diego’s 2009 draft class, as the other picks have moved on from the Chargers.
English has a slim chance at returning, so reuniting with former Chargers defensive coordinator and current Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera seems possible as well as joining the Washington Redskins where Smith is an executive at.
The Chargers do need a rush linebacker, and cap space is going to be tight. The salary cap is projected to be around $126.3 million and the Chargers are looking at around $6 million in cap room. So the Chargers have to be crafty, and chances are they find a gem in the undrafted free agents or players cut from different camps this offseason. And don’t count out the draft as the Chargers are going to need all seven picks in their draft to help their team.
The Chargers saw how a good defense can keep a record-breaking offense in check in the comforts of home. Next year, the Chargers can make a difference if they add to a depleted and exposed defense.