There’s a lot to think about during the seemingly endless five months between the Super Bowl and the beginning of training camp. With that being said, a pretty common thought for most NFL fans (especially in regards to the Chargers) is “what could’ve been?”
It’s no surprise that it’s been a disappointing run in San Diego as of late, with the team missing the playoffs five out of the last six seasons. During that time, dozens of players have come and gone, some more noticeable than others.
There are currently 39 ex-Chargers (40 if you count Eli Manning) filling various NFL rosters around the league. Of those 39 players, several have seen considerable success once they traded in the powder blues for a new team’s jersey.
Along with those players on NFL rosters, there are 16 ex-Chargers still floating in free agency, waiting for the call.
Here’s a look at former Chargers still playing in the NFL.
There’s only one former Charger on the Cardinals roster as of now: running back Kerwynn Williams (2013). Williams never played a regular season game for the Chargers but spent time with the team in the preseason and as a member of the practice squad. In his two seasons with the Cardinals, Williams has played in 13 games totaling 338 yards and rushing for one touchdown.
Dec 20, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) walks off the field after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens are home to three former Chargers, most notably the Bolts’ longtime safety Eric Weddle. Weddle, a fan-favorite who played in San Diego from 2007-15, and the Chargers’ front office had a pretty bad breakup, leading to him signing a four-year, $26 million deal with Baltimore. He has yet to play a snap in Baltimore, but it’s safe to say he’ll see a lot of playing time once the season begins. Along with Weddle are defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (2013-14) and defensive back Shareece Wright (2011-14). Guy had a diminished role with the Bolts during his 14 games of playing time, but he has seen his influence expand after totaling 29 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season. Wright started 27 games during his final two seasons as a Charger, leading to his three-year deal with Baltimore in 2015. In his first season with the team, he started six games and wracked up 34 tackles.
Just one past Charger plays on the Bills, linebacker Kevin Reddick (2014). Reddick hasn’t seen his playing time increase much since leaving the Chargers, playing in just two games with the Bills last season and making two tackles.
The 2016 NFC Champions house four former Chargers, most notably Mike Tolbert (2008-11), who played four memorable years in San Diego, totaling 1,410 yards and 20 rushing TDs along with six receiving TDs. Tolbert has spent four years with the Panthers, where he’s rushed for 13 touchdowns and grabbed five more TDs while also participating in the team’s 15-1 season heading into Superbowl 50. A new face on the Panthers is one of the Chargers’ oldest friends in punter Mike Scifres, who just signed a one-year deal with Carolina during free agency. Scifres spent 13 long seasons in San Diego, consistently holding his spot as one of the league’s top punters.
Remember Mike Remmers? Probably not. He spent one game with the Chargers in 2013 before getting released. The offensive tackle found new life in Carolina, starting all 16 games for the Panthers during the regular season and helping the team to 2,282 yards rushing and allowing just 33 total sacks last season, tied for 11th-best in the NFL. The Panthers also have another former Charger in running back Fozzy Whitaker (2013). Whitaker played in three games with the Chargers before getting released. Like Remmer, he found new life with the Panthers, playing in 25 games over the past two seasons and compiling 253 yards and two touchdowns on 57 rushes.
Oct 4, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Eddie Royal (19) is tackled by Oakland Raiders cornerback Neiko Thorpe (31) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Three former Chargers hold spots on the Bears’ roster, most notably wide receiver Eddie Royal (2012-14). Royal had three solid years in San Diego (1,643 yards, 16 TDs) before signing with Chicago in 2015, where he played in just nine games, catching 37 passes for 238 yards and one TD. The two other players, defensive end Mitch Unrein (2015) and Nick Becton (2013), played in just three combined games with the Chargers. Unrein found a temporary home in Chicago, playing in 14 games for the Bears as a fullback and defensive end, while Becton played in just five games.