Chargers Release Linebacker Matt Wilhelm

The San Diego Chargers made a move many fans had been calling for; they've released Linebacker Matt Wilhelm. With just a few days before training camp gets underway, it now appears as though offseason acquisition Kevin Burnett has the inside track to a starting job.

Official San Diego Chargers Press Release:

Linebacker Matt Wilhelm, a fourth-round draft choice of the Chargers in 2003, was released Friday.

“We appreciate Matt’s effort and hard work over the past six years,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “We like our depth at inside linebacker, so we decided to make this move now to allow Matt a chance to land with another team.”

Wilhelm was a reserve and key special teams player for the first four years of his career before he became a starter in 2007. In 2008, Wilhelm split time with Tim Dobbins.

The Chargers recently signed Kevin Burnett, a veteran free agent formerly with the Dallas Cowboys, to compete at the position. Dobbins and Burnett are the leading candidates to start alongside fellow inside linebacker Stephen Cooper.

Rookies and select veterans will be on the field Monday morning for the first training camp practice. The entire squad will be on the field together for the first time on Friday, July 31.

Chargers release Wilhelm

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July 24, 2009

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Anonymous said... Jul 24, 2009, 2:07:00 PM

about damn time!

Anonymous said... Jul 24, 2009, 5:31:00 PM

Godspeed Matt. Even with some glaring downside, I still believe Wilhelm will likely have little problem catching on with another NFL club. And as another unemployed Californian; let me welcome you to our infamous California 10% Club (where WE are the only one's getting discounted). Honestly, I think Wilhelm clearly doesn't have the "quicks" or the imposing physicality to compete with what is now a deep linebacker corp here; but they say he's smart, disciplined, and he may be a better fit in a 4 - 3 defense too.
It's brutal being employed in the NFL meat-market, where loyalty is only a hint of a shadow of a rumor. Good luck to you and yours Matt. I wouldn't be surprised to see you someday successfully coaching at a major college program, but first things first; catch on in another camp.

Rob Zepeda said... Jul 24, 2009, 6:10:00 PM

"I want to give him an opportunity (to sign with another team)," General Manager A.J. Smith said.

"This is more about the signing of Kevin Burnett than it is Matt Wilhelm," Smith added. "If Kevin Burnett had chosen another team, Matt Wilhelm would be the linebacker for the Chargers in 2009."

Anonymous said... Jul 24, 2009, 7:03:00 PM

I wonder if he could end up replacing Donnie Edwards twice...
Thank you, Matt, for your efforts in San Diego. You've been a good citizen, and we wish you luck on your new team, which hopefully is in the NFC.

Anonymous said... Jul 24, 2009, 11:50:00 PM

Dobbins ur next bro, gotta create salary room for "lights out"......Philips, Burnett, Cooper and Merriman a force to recon with......stand the F%*K by folks its gonna be a good show.....

Anonymous said... Jul 26, 2009, 9:10:00 PM

Matt was deadwood - and this move should have been done 2 years ago. He never really contributed to this organization on the field in any significant way. His days in the NFL are numbered.

San Diego Chargers said... Jul 27, 2009, 2:02:00 AM

Its a timely and good decision by Chargers. But still wondering what difference Kevin can made to the rooster?

Greg said... Jul 27, 2009, 8:40:00 AM

Is there a chance this move could be the way Larry English gets a starting job?

Anonymous said... Jul 27, 2009, 11:51:00 AM

no , i don't see this as being a way to get English a starting job. It is more about the Charger's confidence in Dobbins, Burnett, and Siler. One of them will pair with Cooper most of the time but we should see all of them depending on formations.

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