Casey Hayward becomes nice option in free agency after release

The Los Angeles Chargers free up even more cap space by releasing veteran cornerback Casey Hayward.

With the legal tampering period set to begin this upcoming Monday, the Los Angeles Chargers were set to walk in with over $36 million in cap space after releasing the likes of offensive guard Trai Turner and linebacker Malik Jefferson. Apparently, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco decided that was not enough spending money.

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Chargers have released veteran cornerback Casey Hayward on Saturday. With this move, Los Angeles now frees up an additional $9.7 million in cap space.

Chargers: Releasing Casey Hayward gives cornerback-needy teams an option in free agency

After news broke, Hayward told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he knew a release was coming in recent days after the Chargers were looking for potential trade partners. To further add to the release, NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport noted that Hayward is not a fit in new head coach Brandon Staley’s defensive scheme.

Hayward should command a decent amount of interest from cornerback-needy teams in free agency. Those looking for a new defensive back should send a gift basket to Telesco’s office.

Back in 2016, Hayward signed on with the Chargers and in his very first season with the team, Hayward led the league with seven interceptions. This past season, Hayward tallied 41 combined tackles, eight passes defended and one interception. In coverage, the veteran allowed 38 receptions for 631 yards and five touchdowns on 77 targets, per Pro Football Reference.

In his five years with the Chargers, Hayward has 217 total tackles, 66 defended passes, 14 interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

Hayward should have no trouble finding a new home, as there are plenty of teams in need of a veteran corner. The Chargers now have $46 million to spend at the start of the league year, and you can bank on the majority of being devoted to give young quarterback and Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert some weapons and protection at the line of scrimmage.

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