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Tom Telesco announces the Chargers will decline Kenneth Murray’s fifth-year option

After letting Kyzir White and Drue Tranquill depart in back to back seasons, Telesco confirms Murray is officially in his contract year.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Telesco took some time with the media after day two of the draft, giving some insight son why they selected Tuli Tuipulotu and Daiyan Henley, and also confirming that Kenneth Murray’s fifth-year option would not be exercised.

When asked if Daiyan Henley was seen as a potential replacement for Murray, Tom insisted that Henley’s selection was a completely separate thing, and that they were very happy with what Kenneth has done with the team.

He insisted that the declining of Murray’s option had more to do with salary cap flexibility in 2024, and that they would discuss the possibility of an extension with Murray at the end of the 2023 season. Obviously, should such an extension happen, it would have to be constructed creatively with as modest of a 2024 cap hit as possible, given the Chargers already bleak cap situation.

It’s hard to imagine Kenneth Murray breaking Telesco’s streak of not signing his linebacker draft picks to second contracts. Murray showed signs of improvement last year, so hopefully with Eric Kendricks and a young rookie pushing for playing time Murray continues to develop and really breaks out next season. Whether it’s earning an extension with the Chargers, or playing his way into a big payday that nets the Chargers a compensatory pick in 2025, a successful 2024 campaign for Kenneth Murray would greatly benefit the Chargers.