LA Chargers countdown to 2020: Best number 80 in team history

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

We are officially 80 days from seeing the LA Chargers back in action in 2020.

Counting today, we are 80 days away from the LA Chargers kicking off their 2020 season against first overall pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, that is, as long as everything goes as planned.

To count down the 2020 season, we have been naming the best player in team history to wear every number that coincides with the number of days remaining. Thus far, not a single current Chargers has taken home the honors.

That will continue with the number 80 as there currently is not a number 80 listed on the Chargers roster. Instead, the best number 80 in an all-time franchise great who is enshrined in Canton.

Best number 80 in LA Chargers’ history: Kellen Winslow

Kellen Winslow is one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. He was the greatest tight end in franchise history, that is until Antonio Gates came around and made his case to be a top-three tight end of all-time.

Winslow was part of the first wave of tight ends that were legitimate weapons in the passing game and he helped carve out a path for future tight ends for years to come. In his nine-year NFL career, all with the Bolts, Winslow was a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro.

His 1980 season is still one of the greatest seasons for a tight end in the history of the league. His 1,290 receiving yards that season broke the record for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season and continued to be the record all the way until 2011, when both Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski surpassed it.

That season is now fifth all-time, with George Kittle re-establishing the bar in 2018. But just imagine what Winslow could have done in today’s game with rules to protect both the quarterback and the pass-catcher.

Winslow is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and somehow does not have his number retired by the Chargers, which is a massive oversight by the team. In fact, not retiring his number led to another franchise great to wear number 80, Malcom Floyd.

Floyd is one of the best players in team history to have never made a Pro Bowl but was consistently one of the best deep threats in the league during his Chargers tenure.

The best number 81 in team history. Next

The number 80 is one of the greatest in franchise history and it is a shame that the team has not given Winslow the proper honor of retiring it forever.