After selecting a punter in the sixth round of the draft, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco says he called veteran punter Mike Scifres to tell him that he’s being released, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).
“He’s a true pro,” said Chargers head coach Mike McCoy. “When people ask what it means to be a Charger, I’ll point to Mike Scifres. Thank you Mike. We’re going to miss you.”
San Diego drafted Texas A&M punter Drew Kaser in the sixth round earlier tonight, so it’s no surprise that Scifres is being cut, given that a club that invests any draft pick in a specialist is likely doing so with the intent of said player making the 53-man roster. Scifres, 35, had been with the Chargers since 2004, having spent his entire 13-year career with San Diego. He suffered a down year in 2015, ranking just 29th in net punting average, but with his record of consistency, Scifres should be able to find a new home before or during training camp.
Scifres was entering the final year of his deal with the Chargers, and was set count for $4.163MM on their 2016 cap. By releasing him, San Diego will clear Scifres’ base salary off its books, leaving the club with just $600k in dead money.
Scifres’ agent said last fall that his client does not plan on retiring any time soon, so unless his plans have changed since that time, Scifres should be on the lookout for a new punting gig.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.