Los Angeles Chargers HC Brandon Staley opens up about release of Jerry Tillery

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Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley tried to explain to reporters on Friday why he decided to release former first-round draft pick Jerry Tillery just weeks after rejecting trade offers for him.

Tillery, 26, was taken with the 28th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, tallying 97 tackles, 9.5 sacks and two forced fumbles across his first three seasons.

However, his fifth-year option was declined by the franchise, and he has failed to start a game this campaign.

According to ESPN, the Chargers received "multiple" offers for Tillery leading up to the November 1 trade deadline, but chose to decline in the hope that he could provide depth down the home stretch.

That decision ended up backfiring, as a breakdown in the relationship between player and team led to the Chargers releasing Tillery on Thursday for no compensation.

Speaking to the media on Friday to explain the decision, Staley implied Tillery was not going to accept the limited role the team was asking him to remain in.

"[We had] competing visions for the role moving forward, and it just became clear that it wasn't going to be a fit anymore," he said.

"Where we're headed as a team wasn't going to be compatible with Jerry and where he's trying to go.

"We felt we were going to give [Breiden Fehoko] and [Joe Gaziano] a chance to compete and where we're at, trying to do with our team, our defensive line, our defense, our whole team, trying to create competition and have guys earn their roles.

"That's what we want to be here, that's what we want to do. When those things didn't line up, we had to make a change."