Donald Butler released by San Diego Chargers

Donald Butler's journey in San Diego is over.

The Chargers released the veteran inside linebacker on Thursday, a move Butler revealed in a statement on Twitter before the team made it official.

"It's been an amazing ride SD," Butler wrote. "To my teammates and fans who have supported me throughout (the) last 6 years I am forever appreciative and grateful. Also, to the Spanos family for giving me the opportunity to play in a great city in front of great fans. So excited for what's next and the opportunities ahead! To God be the glory!"

The move creates $9.41 million in salary-cap space for San Diego, but also saddles the Chargers with $18.69 million in dead money. Just two years after signing a lucrative seven-year, $51.8 million contract, Butler faded down the stretch in 2015.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that San Diego brass valued Butler, but also view 2015 second-round pick Denzel Perryman as a "star in the making."

Six years after the Chargers made him a third-round pick, Butler is back looking for work. He'll find it -- plenty of teams need interior help -- but not under anything resembling the last contract he signed.

The Chargers also announced Thursday that they released running back Donald Brown, and linebackers Kavell Conner and Chi Chi Ariguzo.

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