The San Diego Chargers have released tight end Randy McMichael, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter on Twitter. The move comes just hours prior to the opening of free agency and the start of the new league year.
McMichael caught just nine passes for 51 yards in 2012, which was the lowest total of his career. He's a strong blocking tight end, but given that his cap hit was just north of $1.25 million, he had to be more productive in the passing game.
There was speculation that McMichael might restructure his deal and take a paycut, but that's now out the window. San Diego is in need of cap space, and could still release some players in advance of the 4 p.m. ET deadline, when the new league year begins.
The market for McMichael, a 33-year-old blocking tight end, is really up in the air. It's unlikely he'll earn anything above the veteran's minimum in 2013, but there is one potential suitor: the Cleveland Browns. McMichael was utilized as a blocker in Norv Turner's offense, and now that he has gone to become the offensive coordinator of the Browns, there might be room for McMichael there.
Ladarius Green and Antonio Gates are now the only tight ends on the San Diego roster. Gates has been one of the best tight ends in the NFL for quote some time, while Green is hoping for more playing time to show what he can do.