Casey Hayward Released by Los Angeles Chargers

Casey Hayward

After five seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers (going back to their last year in San Diego), cornerback Casey Hayward has been released by the team. Adam Schefter broke the news.

Los Angeles Chargers Cut Casey Hayward

Coming off the heels of the team cutting Trai Turner as a cap casualty, this one isn’t a huge surprise. The Chargers are trying to free up more cap space for free agency and the Draft, and while Hayward had been their most prolific corner for some time, he struggled more than usual in 2020, getting burnt in particular on deep coverage more often. He finished with 41 tackles, one interception, and eight pass deflections.

The Chargers will still have Chris Harris, who can play outside corner or nickel, and may yet re-sign Michael Davis. They are now up to approximately $43.5 million in cap space with this move.

The Chargers released a statement thanking Hayward for his years and performance, on and off the field. While he was definitely a focal piece of the defense for a few years, this was ultimately a necessary move for the team.

Hayward signed with the Chargers in 2016 after having spent the first four years of his career with the Green Bay Packers. As the #1 corner for the team, he proceeded to have the two best seasons of his career from 2016 to 2017. 2016 saw him pull in seven interceptions (league-leading and career-high) including one touchdown) and 20 pass deflections. In 2017 he had fewer interceptions (four), but had a career-high 22 pass deflections. He received both Pro Bowl and Second-Team All-Pro honors for both of these seasons.

The next few seasons were not as prolific for Hayward, but he remained the best cornerback on the team through the 2019 season. Notably, he didn’t miss any games for almost all of his Chargers career until the very end of the 2020 season. He was also voted onto the Pro Football Focus All-Decade Team.

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