<strong>July 26, 2005</strong>
Source: <a href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2201">Chargers.com</a>
Chargers defensive tackle Luis Castillo was one of a handful of players not on the field Tuesday morning when rookies and first-year players had their first practice , but the former Northwestern Wildcat is expected to join his teammates this afternoon. Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith announced Tuesday that the club has reached an agreement on a five-year contract with the 28th overall pick in this year's draft.
"We're thrilled to get this taken care of," Smith said. "He'll be doing some paperwork and hopefully we'll have him on the field later today."
Castillo became the fifth first-round pick to agree to terms. On Monday, the San Francisco 49ers signed quarterback Alex Smith, the number one overall pick. Other first rounders to reach agreements included Oakland's Fabian Washington, Philadelphia's Mike Patterson, and New England's Logan Mankins.
"We're delighted to have Luis here," Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "We're anxious to have a chance to get him started. We think he can make a positive contribution this season for us."
Smith also announced Tuesday morning that the Bolts have waived running back Jesse Chatman after the fourth-year veteran failed a team physical.
"We're going in another direction," Smith said. "We're pleased with the depth that we have at running back, and we just felt that it was time to move on."
Chatman was the Chargers' second-leading rusher in 2004. He carried 65 times for 392 yards (6.0 avg.) and three touchdowns, but team officials were not happy with Chatman's absence from Charger Park during the offseason.
"Jesse's lack of involvement in what we were doing here in the offseason led us to go in another direction," Schottenheimer said. "His weight has been an issue as well as his not being here. I've talked to him at length, but we didn't gain any ground."
Added Schottenheimer, "The policy is very simple: if you have an injury, you have to be here for rehabilitation and treatment. We had some difficulty with Jesse in that area. His weight has been an issue, and I've tried to work with him as best I could. He failed the physical."
Schottenheimer said that at this point, Michael Turner will be slotted behind LaDainian Tominlinson at the tailback position. Rookie Darren Sproles and fullback Andrew Pinnock are also expected to see time at the position.
In addition to the Castillo and Chatman transactions, the Chargers released defensive tackle Lui Fuga Tuesday. Fuga, who played for former Bolts Head Coach June Jones at Hawaii, signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in April.