Without a role as the Chargers now have a deep backfield, Donald Brown will begin looking for work elsewhere after San Diego released him, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
As a result, the Chargers promoted guard Michael Ola from the practice squad to help with the rash of injuries the offensive front’s sustained.
Brown signed a three-year, $10.5MM deal with the Bolts in 2014, but missed three games due to injury last season and was usurped by undrafted free agent Branden Oliver. This season, the Chargers didn’t seem to have a spot for the former Colts first-round pick, with Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead atop the depth chart and Oliver seeing carries behind them.
The 28-year-old Brown was due $3MM this season in base salary and carried a $4.83MM cap number — the largest among San Diego running backs and the eighth-highest figure on the Chargers — but had yet to play a down. He averaged just 2.6 yards per carry last season after netting 5.3 per tote in 2013, a season when he recorded a career-high six touchdowns.
The ex-Connecticut standout has $2.17MM in dead money on the Chargers’ books this season and $1.08MM in 2016.
Gehlken tweeted the Chargers would like to bring Brown back, but he’s a vested veteran and doesn’t have to pass through waivers. Although the Chargers beat reporter notes if Brown does come back it would be at a reduced rate.
Three of the five Chargers starting offensive linemen missed practice Friday, with only Joe Barksdale participating. D.J. Fluker participated partially, while Orlando Franklin, Chris Watt and King Dunlap did not work out. The latter trio are doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Browns.
That created a need for Ola, a 27-year-old CFL veteran who played multiple positions for the Bears last season, starting 12 games.