Veteran defensive end Luis Castillo is expected to be released by the San Diego Chargers so they can avoid paying him a $3.9 million dollar base salary (+ $1 million roster bonus).
He was drafted 28th overall in 2005 and has started 79 games for the Chargers, making 210 tackles,19.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions over that span.
But Castillo was hurt in the first week of the regular season, breaking his leg, spending most of the season on the regular roster until being placed on injured reserve in December.
Castillo was replaced by rookie Corey Liuget at left defensive end, and the Chargers were pleased with his performance in 2011 as he recorded 15 tackles and one sack in fifteen games.
He shows promise, and that has pushed Castillo to the outskirts.
San Diego would still like to bring Castillo back on a more team friendly deal, but the veteran is prepared to test the waters of free agency to see if he can get more money, and likely more playing time elsewhere.
Castillo’s market will probably not be huge, especially from 4-3 teams, but there are several 3-4 teams that could make an offer to add him to their rotation as a part-time starter.
One rumored landing spot is the Indianapolis Colts, where his former defensive coordinator Greg Manusky currently resides.
The Colts are also converting from the 4-3 to the 3-4 under Manusky and Spagano, making defensive lineman a necessity.