Defender Simon Francis has been released from his contract by new Southend boss Paul Sturrock.
The 25-year-old, who has made over 150 league appearances for the Shrimpers since joining from Sheffield United in 2006, had one year left on his deal at Roots Hall.
However, following discussions between player and manager, Sturrock has agreed to let Francis seek pastures new for next season.
He told the club's official website: "I have spoken to Simon several times over the past couple of days.
"Simon feels that he needs to be playing his football at a higher level than League Two to develop his game.
"Simon's wages represent a significant percentage of the budget for next season.
"Allowing him to go means we are now free to strengthen our squad with players that want to be at Southend."