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Chargers expected to waive Marcus McNeill

Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Offensive lineman Marcus McNeill #73 of the San Diego Chargers is carted off the field due to injury as quarterback Philip Rivers #17 and Tommy Kelly #93 of the Oakland Raiders give him a five in the first at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Chargers left tackle Marcus McNeill got his big contract in October of 2010. It was considered risky because of his health, and he wound up only playing nine games in 2011.

The 28-year-old two-time Pro Bowler is expected to be waived in early March according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. That would free up $10 million in cap space.

McNeill’s contract was guaranteed for skill, but not injury. So he has to pass a physical by March 15 or his salary is not guaranteed. Acee reports McNeill, who reportedly wants to keep playing football, is not expected to pass the physical. McNeill will immediately become the most talented and risky free agent tackle out there.

Acee writes the Chargers have a few other ways to clear up cap space. Defensive end Luis Castillo will likely have to reduce his salary or he will be cut. Linebacker Takeo Spikes, due almost $3 million next year, is also a candidate for release.

Calling this a crucial offseason for Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith would be an understatement. There are a lot of question marks on the Chargers roster and not a lot of time to fix them with Smith and coach Norv Turner on the hot seat.