Some LA Chargers were only good for one season.
The LA Chargers have had some of the biggest names in football since the turn of the century. Philip Rivers is one of the most liked quarterbacks because of his personality and has the numbers of a top-10 all-time quarterback. LaDainian Tomlinson is a top-five running back of all-time, Antonio Gates has a case to be the greatest tight end of all-time.
Shawne Merriman had one of the fastest starts in NFL history before suffering a knee injury that would derail his career. Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Jackson were both lethal targets. Even today, the likes of Joey Bosa, Derwin James, Casey Hayward and Keenan Allen are all among the best in the business at their position.
The Chargers have also had some players that had short-lived success as well, or as we call in the business, one-year wonders. A current example of this could be Desmond King, as he was great and an All-Pro in 2018 and really took a step back in 2019.
However, King still has time to turn it around and shake that narrative. But if he doesn’t, he would be a prime candidate to be called a one-year wonder.
Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus put together an entire team of the best one-year wonders in the NFL since the 2006 season. Of the 20 players that made the team, two are former members of the LA Chargers.
LA Chargers: The two great one-year wonders, according to PFF
First on the team is center Scott Mruczkowski for his efforts in the 2009 season. Mruczkowski was a Charger for seven seasons and was mostly a depth option at center for the team during his tenure. He started a total of 16 games for the Chargers in seven years, 13 of which came in 2009.
According to Linsey, Mruczkowski ranked 10th among 33 qualified centers in regards to PFF’s overall grade and allowed just one quarterback hit and one quarterback sack all season.
Mruczkowski did not get a chance to be a full-time starter again for the Chargers as he was filling in for an injured Nick Hardwick. It is a shame that he did not at least get an opportunity elsewhere, either, as him doing such a good job filling in for Hardwick was huge for the 2009 Bolts.
The other one-year wonder that the Chargers have had since 2006 was Jason Verrett, which was for obvious reasons.
Verrett was super talented and if he did not have some of the worst injury luck in recent NFL history then he would probably be one of the best corners in the league right now. When he was healthy and on the field, every football fan could see just how good he was.
His 2015 season was the lone season where Verrett recorded more than four starts, playing in 14 games and starting 13. He had three interceptions, 12 passes defended, was a Pro Bowler and posted a 90.9 coverage rating on PFF, which was tied for the highest among cornerbacks that season.
Luckily, the LA Chargers hit the jackpot with Casey Hayward, because Jason Verrett is one of the most painful what-ifs in recent football history.