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Los Angeles Chargers: Jason Verrett should be remembered as one of biggest wastes of potential in team history

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 06: Cornerback Jason Verrett #22 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after intercepting a pass in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium on December 6, 2015 in San Diego, California. The Broncos won 17-3. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 06: Cornerback Jason Verrett #22 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after intercepting a pass in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium on December 6, 2015 in San Diego, California. The Broncos won 17-3. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Jason Verrett‘s time with the Los Angeles Chargers has officially come to a close.

Verrett, the Chargers’ first-round pick in 2014, has signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.  The Chargers apparently made no attempt to keep him.

It has to be tough for Chargers fans to see his tenure with the team end like this, particularly due to the promise he showed right out of the gate as a rookie out of Texas Christian.

The Chargers were in desperate need for a quality defensive back in the 2014 draft and were fortunate that three corners were selected ahead of Verrett. He had a solid training camp and preseason and was listed as the team’s No.3 cornerback when the season began.

You can still see the image of his game-sealing interception of Derek Carr against the Oakland Raiders that season.

But he dealt with a hamstring injury and a torn labrum that year. Injuries would go on to define Verrett’s five-year tenure with the team.

The following season, though he played in just 14 games, missing two due to injury, he was selected to play in the Pro Bowl as a replacement for Darrelle Revis. His three interceptions and 12 pass deflections helped him make his mark as one of the best cover corners in the entire league.

Things certainly looked bright.

That all changed in 2016 when a partially torn ACL ended his season, one in which he started strong. It was thought that he may have been playing through the injury for at least two games.

The following season, after playing in just one game, complaints of knee soreness forced Verrett to shut it down for the rest of the year. This was after the Chargers somewhat surprisingly elected to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract.

Despite all of the injury troubles, the Chargers still planned for him to be a key part of the defense in 2018. That was until he tore his Achilles tendon on the first day of training camp, leading to him missing the entire season once again.

Out of 82 possible games in five seasons including postseason games, Verrett has played in 25. That just doesn’t cut it.

Though it’s tough to say goodbye to a player who was taken in the first round, especially when that player is still just 27 years old, it’s hard to argue that the Chargers should have invested any more time in Verrett.

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Just take a look at these career regular season stats:

Tackles: 80

Interceptions: 5

Pass Deflections: 19

Games Missed: 55

If the 49ers get the Verrett that made the Pro Bowl in his second year, they could have a tremendous combination with him and Richard Sherman. But if they get the Verrett of the last three seasons, they’ll get a guy who will be visiting the trainer’s office often.

For Chargers fans, they’ll be left to wonder what could have been. In the case of Verrett, based off what he started out as to what he became, he may end up being the biggest case of wasted potential in team history.

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