The Chargers re-signed Denzel Perryman to an extension this offseason, but appear to be trying different options at linebacker ahead of him.
The Chargers were winning the game late in the third quarter, trying to chase down the league’s best third-string quarterback in Taysom Hill as he rallied the offense. On one of Hill’s runs, the mobile quarterback evaded multiple defenders; suddenly, a number flashes on screen: 52. Denzel Perryman was playing late into this game, something fans certainly didn’t expect to see.
Perryman signed a two-year extension this offseason, a roughly six million dollar per year deal considered to be low-risk for the stout but not exactly durable linebacker. The Chargers went and drafted Drue Tranquill with their fourth-round selection, and it appeared as if the depth chart would be as follows:
- Denzel Perryman
- Nick Dzubnar
- Drue Tranquill
- Kyle Wilson
For the record, that’s the current depth chart standing on the Chargers’ main website.
What’s going on with Perryman? Holding him out of the game as he recovers from a season-ending injury is one thing, but giving him his first appearance (on first watch) late in the third quarter is odd. Wilson, the previously listed fourth-string linebacker, had a tackle less than 10 minutes into the first quarter.
OH MY @D_Perryman52 ?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 18, 2019
This felt like a non-story a week ago, and maybe it still is. Would the Chargers give up on a player they just extended that fast? There are a number of potential reasons (doesn’t mean all are applicable) why Perryman was found so late in the game:
- The Chargers wanted to see how their younger players fared against better competition, rather than have guys like Tranquill playing in the second half against third-string competition.
- The Chargers actually feel their other linebackers are better.
- Disciplinary action.
- To keep Perryman less banged-up against better competition.
The second, third, and fourth options all seem odd, but is the first option really any more plausible? This is certainly a story to track moving forward, as extending an important veteran player only to have him usurped so quickly is not common with the Chargers.