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Chargers release veteran safety Jahleel Addae

Veteran safety Jahleel Addae went from being undrafted to becoming a valuable starter and leader for the Chargers, but his six-year run with the team has come to an end.
The Chargers released Addae, the team announced Saturday. The move will save them $5.5 million in cash and $5 million in cap space for 2019.
“Jahleel was part of our rookie class my first year with the organization in 2013,” general manager Tom Telesco said in a statement. “Not only did he make the team as an undrafted free agent, he won a starting role at safety and became an undisputed team leader. In his time here, nobody has worked harder, and exemplified what we want in a Charger more than Jahleel.
“These decisions are never easy, and we will always be grateful for Jahleel’s contributions both on the field and in our community.”
Addae had two years left on the four-year, $22.5 million extension he signed, but the remaining $11.5 million he was set to make was nonguaranteed.
The move, however, goes deeper than financial savings. It appeared the Chargers were ready to move on after Addae struggled last year in his move from strong safety to free safety. Addae was forced to make the switch with the emergence of rookie safety Derwin James.
Despite his 2018 struggles, the Chargers’ young secondary gravitated to Addae for guidance. Addae was mentored by former Charger Eric Weddle, who recently signed with the Rams .
“Jahleel has been the consummate professional,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said in a statement. “He’s a leader in the locker room and a big part of the culture we’ve been building. He’s also a high character individual, hard worker and a great mentor to a lot of the younger guys, especially the guys in the defensive backfield. Building a roster with this salary cap often means you have to make tough decisions and part ways with good people, and this is one of those situations. I want to thank Jahleel for everything he’s done in my two years here.”
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Safeties Rayshawn Jenkins and Jaylen Watkins are in the mix to take over for Addae, but with a deep safety market in free agency, the Chargers could explore other options. Earl Thomas, Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu and Lamarcus Joyner are set to become free agents Wednesday.
Addae started every game the past two seasons, and started in 59 out of the 80 regular-season games he appeared in with the Chargers.

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