Rodney Harrison had a very successful career in his 9 seasons with the Chargers. In 123 games he had 26 interceptions and 599 tackles. He was voted to 2 Pro-Bowls and is a two-time 1st Team All-Pro. He is arguably the best secondary player to ever suit up for the Bolts, and perhaps the second best defensive player next to the late Junior Seau. Some say Harrison is even deserving of Hall of Fame consideration.
The Chargers have a player right now who could perhaps finish with a better Chargers career than Harrison. His name is Eric Weddle. He was just named to his 3rd Pro Bowl and his second First-Team All Pro. He just passed Harrison on the Chargers franchise tackles list, he is currently at 627. Harrison still has the edge in interceptions, 26 to Weddle’s 19. Harrison played 9 seasons with San Diego and Weddle just finished his 8th season. With another solid season in 2015, Weddle’s numbers could continue to approach or exceed those of Harrison.
The Chargers played a different defense and it was a different era of offenses when Harrison played. This explains the wide margin between his sack numbers (21.5) against Weddle’s (6). Weddle does have the upper hand in postseason play, with 8 games, 29 tackles and one interception. Shockingly, Harrison never appeared in a playoff game for the Bolts, although he was part of the back to back Super Bowl wins by the Patriots in 2003-2004.
Is Eric Weddle better than Rodney Harrison? The jury is still out. With a couple more solid seasons from Weddle, it will be hard to argue against him. Harrison may have gone to play for Super Bowl teams and excel in his post-Chargers days, but as a Charger, his numbers stack up pretty evenly with Weddle’s. Also, Harrison’s last season with San Diego was when he was 30 years old. Weddle just turned 30 earlier this month and will enter his 9th season in San Diego this coming fall. He will become a free agent in 2016. Hopefully, the Chargers extend him and let him be a Charger for life. It has been a pleasure watching him and hopefully we will get that chance for at least a few more years. If Weddle remains a Charger for the next 3-4 years, he could go down as one of the best defensive players in franchise history, perhaps only second to Seau. Only time will tell.