Two-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Russell Okung uncertain about future with Chargers, per report

The Los Angeles Chargers will have a new quarterback in 2020, and it sounds as if they might have someone else protecting their quarterback’s blind side as well. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Chargers left tackle Russell Okung has expressed “uncertainty” not only in “the direction of the organization” but about his future with the team. Okung is signed through the 2020 season, but he missed 10 games in 2019 and would save Los Angeles roughly $13 million if released ahead of free agency in March.

“While the team has attempted to reassure him,” Anderson tweeted Thursday, “Okung remains skeptical of the team’s direction.”

In other words, while L.A. isn’t hurting for salary cap space ahead of the offseason, Okung may very well know he’s a candidate to be cut, especially if the Chargers opt for a total rebuild now that Philip Rivers is headed elsewhere. The 31-year-old lineman is a two-time Pro Bowler who three years ago landed a four-year, $53 million contract with the Chargers. But he’ll cost $15.5 million in 2020 a year after opening the season on the reserve/non-football illness list because of a “near-death experience” with a blood clot in his lung.

A former first-round draft pick, Okung spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, helping the club win Super Bowl XLVIII in 2013. Prior to joining the Chargers, he spent one year with the Denver Broncos, starting all 16 games at left tackle.

Despite Okung’s checkered injury history, he would most likely receive a strong market in free agency should the Chargers opt to release him. There may even be a trade market for Okung as well if the Chargers opt to exhaust that route. This is the reality of the offensive tackle position at the NFL level. It is very difficult for NFL teams to find quality starting offensive tackles and this position remains one of the scarcest in the NFL on an annual basis.

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