Los Angeles Chargers Release Pro Bowl Center Corey Linsley As Veteran Hangs Up His Cleats

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been expected for pretty much the entire offseason. Los Angeles Chargers Pro Bowl center Corey Linsley stepping away from the game after a brilliant decade of play.

That has now come to fruition. The Chargers announced on Wednesday that they have released the 32-year-old center. He is also expected to retire.

“Corey is everything you hope for and more in an NFL player,” Chargers President of Football Operations John Spanos said in a statement, via the team’s official website. “The consummate professional, his mentorship of younger players, work ethic, integrity, leadership, competitive drive and sense of humor all played a role in earning him the ‘C’ on his jersey throughout the entirety of his time with us. And as good of a football player as he is, Corey’s an even better person.”

Linsley indicated earlier in the offseason that it was a 99% certainty he’d hang up his cleats. The former Green Bay Packers fifth-round pick from Ohio State has been dealing with a heart-related medical issue. For Linsley, it’s all about focusing on his family. The Chargers made that clear in their press release.

“To that end, at a time when he and his wife, Anna, were growing their family from two children to four while with the Chargers, they still made it a priority to serve the community as passionate advocates for CASA — work that earned Corey not one, but two Walter Payton Man of the Year nominations during his career,” Spanos continued.

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Los Angeles Chargers Were Preparing For Eventual Corey Linsley Retirement

Corey Linsley, Los Angeles Chargers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz saw the writing on the wall here. Los Angeles signed veteran center Bradley Bozeman during NFL free agency.

A sixth-round pick of Hortiz’s former Baltimore Ravens team out of Alabama in 2018, Bozeman has started 77 games in six seasons. He brings a ton of experience with him to the mix in Southern California. That includes working in new Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s system.

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This is is no small thing. Center is among the most-underrated positions in all of football. A great relationship with the quarterback goes a long way to making things work. Justin Herbert will have had an entire offseason to grow said relationship with Bozeman.

As for Linsley, he joined the Chargers as a big-time free agent signing ahead of the 2021 season. The respected center started all 33 games in which he appeared in three seasons. That included just three a season ago.

He does leave some big shoes to fill. Per Pro Football Focus, Linsley finishes his career with 1,572 consecutive pass-block snaps without yielding a sack. It’s the longest active streak in the NFL.