The San Diego Chargers are expected to waive kicker Nate Kaeding on Tuesday in an attempt to rid themselves of his massive $2 million salary they owe him. The catch is that the Chargers get out of a majority of that contract if, and only if, a team claims him after he’s waived. If no team places a claim on Kaeding then the Chargers are on the hook for his entire contract.
If a team claims the kicker, San Diego avoids having to pay him $1.05 million.
Kaeding has had some good years in San Diego, but he’s been plagued with accuracy issues and injury woes recently and has missed the last few games with yet another injury — this one to his groin.
Just for the record, the NFL trade deadline is this Tuesday, but kickers and punters cannot be traded.
The allure to claiming Kaeding is that when he’s healthy he’s got the ability to be one of the NFL’s best kickers. But there’s a youth movement going on at kicker in the league where teams are hot after young kickers with monster legs. Kaeding’s been around awhile and isn’t noted for having a long distance type of leg.
A major downside to adding Kaeding is taking on his $1.05 million salary for just 8 games of the season. Kaeding’s in the final year of his deal and he could very well miss the next few games with that groin injury. This is only bad news for the Chargers who will likely have to pay their soon to be ex-kicker $2 million to do what he’s been doing the last year and a half in San Diego — sit around doing nothing.