COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Chargers trimmed their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players on Saturday. Here’s a closer look at the final cuts:
Most significant move: Spencer Pulley played with an injured knee and started all 16 games at center last season on an offensive line that allowed a league-low 18 sacks. However, with the addition of Mike Pouncey in free agency, along with selecting developmental prospect Scott Quessenberry in the fifth round of this year’s draft, the Chargers chose to move on from the undrafted Vanderbilt product they signed two years ago. Even though his performance during exhibition play was uneven, the Chargers decided to keep quarterback Cardale Jones around as their third quarterback. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn has said that he likes Jones’ upside.
Caleb Strugis wins kicking job: The training camp battle between five-year NFL veteran Caleb Sturgis and Roberto Aguayo went down to the wire. However, Sturgis showed he was healthy during the final two weeks of preseason play with better leg strength on kickoffs. Couple that with the fact the Chargers gave him $1 million in guaranteed money in free agency, along with his experience kicking in the league, and Sturgis won the job. However, Aguayo showed more confidence kicking the football and should earn some tryouts due to the way he competed.
Antonio Gates on his way? The Chargers kept just two tight ends on the roster in Virgil Green and Sean Culkin. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said during the TV broadcast of his team’s final preseason game that the potential return of Antonio Gates remains a possibility. Behind Green and Culkin, the Chargers still have little experienced depth at the tight end position, so the return of someone like Gates makes sense. “The door for Antonio is not closed, but we’ll be prepared either way,” Telesco said. “Virgil Green has done a nice job for us. Sean Culkin has done a nice job for us, but we’ll have a plan ready to go for Kansas City that first week either way.”
Waived (31): DE Patrick Afriyie, K Roberto Aguayo, TE Braedon Bowman, CB Tony Brown, WR Dylan Cantrell, CB B.J. Clay, LB Kyle Coleman LB, OL Chris Durant, CB Marcus Edmond, OL Zack Golditch, TE Je’Ron Hamm, S Micah Hannemann, DT Marcus Hardison, S A.J. Hendy, LB D’Juan Hines, DT Bijhon Jackson, TE Ben Johnson, WR Justice Liggins, FB Anthony Manzo-Lewis, WR Andre Patton, C Spencer Pulley, CB Jeff Richards, DT Steven Richardson, DE Whitney Richardson, OL Trent Scott, QB Nic Shimonek, WR Nelson Spruce, CB Channing Stribling, P Shane Tripucka, RB Terrell Watson, OL Erick Wren.
Reserve-PUP (1): TE Hunter Henry (knee)
Reserve-injured (1): WR Artavis Scott (leg).
Suspended (1): DT Corey Liuget (4 games)