LA Chargers: Seven players on the hot seat in 2020
CB Desmond King
Desmond King has been generally good in his career. He had an amazing 2018. He finds himself on the list because of his 2019, as well as the uncertain future of what his position will be.
Let’s start with his 2019. The major concern here was the passer rating he gave up. King allowed a 133.4 passer rating. That’s almost 50 points higher than the 2018 opposing passer rating he allowed. King’s reception percentage was also the worst in the league amongst cornerbacks with 20 or more targets, allowing an 87% opposing reception percentage. Other than just coverage, his special teams play in kickoffs and punt returns declined drastically.
Last season doesn’t fall entirely on King himself. Obviously, the defense was out of sorts most of the season because of the losses of Derwin James and Adrian Phillips due to injury. Remember that Trevor Williams was supposed to be the starting cornerback opposite Hayward before his injury got him released.
Despite that, King is in a contract year now. He also has some more added pressure on him with Phillips moving on to New England. It’s hard to say what role or position King will end up playing, but many expect him to take over Phillips’ role and be the wildcard on defense. An expanded role comes with more pressure though.
Whatever position King ends up playing, he has to be better in coverage and more motivated to be with the team. King was benched in Week 15 by Anthony Lynn last year for non-injury reasons, right after Denzel Perryman and Roderic Teamer got benched for missing team meetings. He has to prove 2019 was an aberration as opposed to the new normal if he wants that new contract.