Rodney Harrison, safety
Rodney Harrison was not a slam dunk for this list, but a lot of that is due to the fact that, like Dean, he probably doesn’t always look back on his time with the organization and smile. He, like Dean, also found his greatest success, including winning multiple Super Bowls with another team.
That said, he was a force on the Chargers’ defense for many years.
A fifth-round pick out of small Western Illinois, Harrison was never supposed to become one of the best safeties in football. He needed to work hard and have an opportunity.
The Chargers gave him that opportunity as a rookie in 1994 and the following season he had five interceptions. But it was the fear he would put into opponents due to his hard-hitting, sometimes illegal, style.
Harrison gained a reputation as one of the league’s dirtiest players based on that style, but his aggressiveness was also welcomed by fans. In addition, he was far from out of control. He was a good player who got better and better each season.
He would go on to make two Pro Bowls with the Chargers before being released following the 2002 season. He then latched on with the New England Patriots.
His 30.5 career sacks are the most in NFL history for a defensive back. He also had 34 career interceptions, joining Ray Lewis as the only players in history to ever post 30 interceptions and 30 sacks during their careers.