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Linebacker Eric Kendricks was released by the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday, a move that frees up $6.5 million in salary cap space.

Kendricks signed a two-year deal with the Chargers last season after eight years with the Minnesota Vikings. He played in 15 games, including 14 starts, and was second on the team with 117 tackles. Kendricks also had 3 1/2 sacks, seven tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

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Even with Kendricks’ release, the Chargers are nearly $19 million over the $255.4 million salary cap with free agency set to begin next Wednesday. The new brain trust of coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz inherited a roster with four players — linebackers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, and wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams — who have cap numbers of at least $32 million for the 2024 season.

“It’s still a work in progress. The (coaching) staff really just got finalized,” Hortiz said about the roster evaluation process during last week’s NFL Scouting Combine. “Obviously, the salary cap got bumped up a little bit higher than I think everyone was expecting, a little bit more. It gives us, certainly, some flexibility a little bit, more increased flexibility. We’ll continue to talk through that over the next couple of weeks and have a plan of attack shortly.”

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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