Chargers underachiever No. 2: Denzel Perryman
Perryman is a tough player to write anything negative about, so let us start with the positives.
Perryman is a genuine guy who loves to play football for the Chargers. You can see in an interview here that he was teary-eyed and genuinely appreciative to get a contract extension with the Chargers this summer. Furthermore, at any Chargers training camp this offseason, you would find Perryman playing catch with the kids on the sideline and staying late to sign Chargers memorabilia.
Denzel Perryman on why he makes an effort to interact with fans at #Chargers training camp: “The kids, the people, they’re the reason why we do what we do. Why not give back? You just treat people how you want to be treated, man." https://t.co/sjJKNaLrDM
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) August 17, 2019
Unfortunately for Perryman, his availability has not significantly improved so far this year. He missed the first two games with an ankle injury, but he has recovered and became more involved with the defense in the past four weeks.
But, in the past, Perryman has made his presence felt when available by being a massive hammer in the running game and a minor liability in the passing game. This season, Perryman’s play against the run has regressed while his coverage abilities remain unchanged.
Through four weeks of play, Perryman only has 13 tackles and two for a loss. If a linebacker is expected to be a starter and they are deficient against the pass, they have to be better than that against the run. PFF has noticed and given him an atrocious grade of 31.3 at this point in the season.
Perryman’s play this season has not been worth the $6 million per year that he is set to make this year and next. Despite this large disparity between contract value and performance, many within and outside the organization cannot help but root for Perryman even more than the average player. Hopefully, for the team and fans alike, Perryman can improve his performance and stay on this Chargers team.