Los Angeles Chargers Star Says ‘99%’ Chance He’ll Be Forced To Medically Retire This Spring

Los Angeles Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers knew they’d be heading into the NFL offseason needing to find a new coach and general manager. Even once those hires were made, salary-cap issues were going to force the Chargers to cut ties with multiple starters. Now, just a day after the Chargers’ season ended, things have gotten worse.

With the Chargers’ coaching search underway, there’s already plenty of buzz around the NFL regarding potential cap casualties and departures in Los Angeles. Pro Bowl running back Austin Ekeler won’t be returning, while edge rusher Khalil Mack is expected to be cut and either Mike Williams or Joey Bosa are also in danger of being cap casualties.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers general manager candidates

Amid the looming changes defensively, it also appears the Chargers’ offensive line will suffer another blow moving forward. Meeting with reporters on Monday, All-Pro center Corey Linsley announced there’s a 99 percent chance he’ll be forced to medically retire.

Linsley, 32, last took the field on Sept. 24, 2023, against the Minnesota Vikings. After that game, he was ruled out for Week 4 with an undisclosed illness. Days later, Los Angeles placed him on injured reserve with a “non-emergency” heart-related issue.

While few details were provided on the specific nature of the problem, the team described it as a non-emergent heart issue. After missing the remainder of the 2023 NFL season, it’s now been determined that Linsley will likely need to step away from football.

  • Corey Linsley contract: $14.1 million cap hit ($11.5 million salary) in 2024, $17.1 million cap hit ($12 million salary) in 2025

Related: Los Angeles Chargers coaching candidates

Linsley, a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, spent the majority of his pro career with the Green Bay Packers. After earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2020, he signed a five-year, $62.5 million contract to join Los Angeles in March 2021. The Chargers made him the highest-paid center in NFL history, hoping he would provide a strong interior pocket for quarterback Justin Herbert.

The Ohio State alum started 16 games in 2021, earning a Pro Bowl selection and he was named second-team All-Pro. However, injuries limited him to 14 games in 2022 and now his latest medical setback is going to end his career at 32 years old. Linsley’s retirement adds to the growing list of Chargers team needs in 2024, further depleting this roster in the midst of a coaching search.