COSTA MESA, Calif. — Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said the team wouldn’t exercise linebacker Kenneth Murray’s fifth-year option. So, he will be going into his final year this season.
Murray was drafted in 2020 when the team moved back into the first round to draft the linebacker out of Oklahoma at 23rd overall. It was the same draft that the Chargers took quarterback Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick.
Telesco did confirm NFL Networks’ earlier report that the team was picking up Herbert’s fifth year—a no-brainer.
Murray has needed time to develop. His first two seasons were rough, making mistakes and, at one point, was almost unplayable, but he has stuck with it. There was an improvement in 2022.
“Probably more salary cap-related down the road,” Telesco said. “We’ll talk when the season is over.”
He contributed in different ways last season and was able to stay on the field more often than in previous seasons. He finished the season with 76 tackles, seven for loss, and four quarterback hits.
This season the Chargers have brought in veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks, who has already built a relationship with Murray. This fourth year will tell a lot about Murray and his development, but he will have to have a good season to get that next contract.