Nov 22, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA;  New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims (11) catches a pass against Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward (26) in the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Chargers release two-time Pro Bowl CB Casey Hayward

The Los Angeles Chargers released two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Hayward spent the past five seasons with the team and recorded 14 interceptions. He picked off a career-best seven in 2016 during the franchise’s final season in San Diego before the team departed for Los Angeles.

Hayward was a Pro Bowl selection in both 2016 and 2017. He was slated to receive $9.75 million in base salary in 2021 in the final campaign of a three-year, $33.25 million deal

“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,” Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said in a statement. “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.

“Casey is the consummate professional and a shining example for everyone who aspires to play in the NFL.”

Hayward had 41 tackles and one interception in 14 games (13 starts) in 2020.

He told longtime NFL reporter Josina Anderson that the move wasn’t a surprise.

“I’ve known for a couple of days,” Hayward said, according to Anderson. “I know they were seeing if they could trade me, wanting to keep my salary the same. I’m definitely open to new possibilities now. I want to play at least a couple more years.”

Hayward spent his first four NFL seasons (2012-15) with the Green Bay Packers. He had nine interceptions, six coming as a rookie.

Overall, Hayward has 385 tackles, 23 interceptions and four fumble recoveries during nine NFL seasons.

–Field Level Media

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