The Le'Ron McClain era in San Diego is over. In a move that was not unexpected, the San Diego Chargers have released the 29–year–old veteran Fullback.
McClain was due to make a $2.5 million salary this year, but with Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt utilizing McClain on just 12% of the offensive snaps in 2013, his production could easily be replaced by a much cheaper option. He also played in 27% of Special Teams snaps as well. The release creates about $900 thousand in dead money this year.
That's not to say McClain played terribly in 2013. He's still one of the better lead blockers in the NFL, but he was just too expensive for how little the team utilized him. Back in January, John Gennaro wrote:
Last offseason, when it would've saved the team about $1.4 million in cap space, I said there was no way that McClain would make the team. Then Chris Gronkowski got injured and they had no backup plan.
This offseason, releasing McClain frees up $2.5 million in cap space. I'll take my chances again: There is no way that McClain makes the Chargers this season without some sort of renegotiated contract, which I do not believe he will be offered.
With his release, the team currently only employs one Fullback on the roster: Zach Boren.
Boren, if you recall, has yet to play in a regular-season NFL game. He was signed as an UDFA by the Houston Texans last year, but didn't make it out of Training Camp. The Chargers signed him to a reserves/future contract in January. So it stands to reason that Fullback is a position needing to be addressed by the Chargers.