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Addae, Square Sign 1-Day Contracts to Retire as Chargers

231207_Retirement

A pair of key members from the mid-2010 Chargers defense have signed 1-day contracts to retire with the franchise.

Safety Jahleel Addae and defensive end Damion Square officially retired Saturday as members of the Bolts at Hoag Performance Center.

Addae played with the Bolts from 2013-2018 and came back for a second stint in 2020, while Square played with him on the same defense for a handful of years, suiting up for the Chargers from 2014 to 2020.

It was a special moment for the former teammates, as the two shared just how much it means to them to retire as a member of the Chargers, especially since both began their NFL careers as undrafted free agents.

"It means a lot to me because first and foremost, they were one of the teams who took a chance on me coming out of Central Michigan 11 years ago," Addae said. "They gave me a shot as an undrafted free agent and Tom Telesco believed in me, gave me a fair opportunity and I turned that into seven years for them and a nine-year career in total. It means everything.

"Just an organization that believed in me throughout my whole career and it's special," Addae continued. "

Square said: "It means so much to me. When I got to [the Chargers], at that time in my career I was being passed around as a football player. I had just left the Eagles and Kansas City for my second season and then I go to the Chargers all in the same season, so I'm on my third team in one year. Nothing was feeling like home, I'm trying to figure it out."

"That's home for me and for those people to take the time to put something together for me like this, for me to have one last hoorah for my career, I really appreciate them for that," Square later added. "I just can't wait to get there and be and exist in it. Like I said, no better place to play my career than in Southern California with the Chargers."

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Both Addae and Square's NFL career started in 2013 as undrafted free agents, but the two didn't get to be teammates until 2014 when Square joined the Bolts in the middle of the season.

The two would go on to spend five seasons as members of the Bolts defense, including playing all 16 games as part of the 2018 Chargers team that made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

And whether it would be on the field or heading back home on the team plane, the pair of teammates have fond memories of spending a lot of time together during their time in the powder blue.

"Me and Jahleel played with each other," Square said. "Because Jahleel played safety and played in front of the ball, a lot of his run fits or responsibilities in the run game had a lot to do with what I was doing in front. We communicated a lot.

"Not only that, but I would also sit side-by-side with him on the plane so Jahleel and I have a lot of memories, just being at the games laughing with him," Square added.

Addae said: "Square was a leader. Square was a dawg. Obviously, a National Champion at Alabama, he brought that same swagger, that same confidence. He's a fellow undrafted free agent, so I respect his grind and what he did sticking with the Chargers as long as he did and his career.

"That was my airplane buddy, he sat right next to me on our travels," Addae added. "Me and Square have a lot of good memories on that plane after victories, big wins, and even losses. Square is a guy who was a father at a young age, so he always had that father spirit, that old man spirit. When you had a bad game or you were down and you're riding back on that plane with him, he always finds the right words to pick you up."

12.08 Addae

Addae signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2013 coming out of Central Michigan, where he was a three-time All-MAC selection. He finished his NFL career playing 91 games with the Chargers, starting 59 of them.

He was a force in the secondary as one of the safeties of the team, finishing with 393 total tackles, 5.0 sacks and 18 tackles for loss — including a career-high nine in 2017. Addae also finished with three career interceptions with the team, one of those going the other way for a score.

And the lone pick 6 of his career remains his favorite memory of his time with the Chargers, as he created an unforgettable moment in front of family.

"It was 2016 [season], my contract year I broke my collarbone in Week 2 and missed eight games," Addae said. "I came back that same season and in the last game of the season."

Addae later continued: "It was my mom's birthday, she was there, my girlfriend at the time, wife now, was there. My dad was there, my brother, my nephews were there all sitting front row. And I had a 90-yard pick 6 on Alex Smith."

"I ran 90 yards for the pick six on my mom's birthday, January 1st, and then I ran another 100 yards back to the other opposite end zone she was, and I handed her the ball in the first row," Addae added. "I have a painting of it. That's most definitely my most memorable memory as a Charger."

Square 12.08

Square came into the NFL after a very successful college career that saw him win three BCS National Championships as a defensive lineman at Alabama. He joined the Chargers in 2014 after spending time with both the Eagles and Chiefs coming out as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

He would go on to find a home with the Chargers, playing in 81 games (24 starts) and accumulating 116 total tackles, 6.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss in his career with the team.

And among all those games he played with the Bolts, one game in particular stands out for him as his favorite memory in his time with the team. It was Week 15 of the 2018 season — the game where the team went into Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday Night Football and won the game after a big night from wide receiver Mike Williams.

"That one is a big one because we were playing some big time ball at the time," Square said about the game. "I would say when Mike goes down to Kansas City and just kills them all over the place and we beat Pat [Mahomes], Kansas City in Kansas City. That was awesome.

"We struggled to beat them all the time, always playing a good game, they always come out on top and that day they don't," Square continued. "Everybody was just on their feet, packed out. I think it was a primetime game, too, and it was electric.

"Just to beat those guys on that day, we were a real confident team that time," Square added. "We felt like we deserved to be there, we felt like we deserved to win and just to be with the Chargers at the time, I'll never forget how high we were then."

Saturday was a special day for the pair of the teammates, as they were able to reflect on both their NFL careers and time with the Chargers.

From communicating with each other on the Bolts defense to sitting together on the plane rides home, both Addae and Square's football career were connected one more time Saturday in retirement.

"It's really cool and fitting that the guy I came in with, my airplane travel seat buddy, will retire at the same time," Addae said.

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