2. Lack of a well-defined role on the LA Chargers
With the addition of Chris Harris, we know King won’t be playing slot corner like he was in his first three seasons. 2020 will see King in a new role, but we don’t know exactly what that entails. Some have suggested that it might Adrian Phillips’ dimebacker role. Others see him as more of a defensive wildcard that does a little bit of everything.
Either way, King’s role isn’t well defined as it stands now. If the discussion is giving King and extension that falls somewhere in average annual value between $5-10 million dollars, it simply has to be an important role. For context on the contract, Kenny Moore became the highest-paid slot cornerback in the NFL last year with a 4 year $33 million dollar contract.
Gus Bradley has done a good job at utilizing King since they both joined the team in 2017. It’s fair for Chargers fans to have some high expectations about a bounce-back year, but it’s still wait and see.
It’s not coincidental that King’s play declined and he saw about 17% fewer snaps than he did in 2018. Even if you add the game he missed into the equation and give him 40 extra snaps, which is being generous, it still clocks out to about 13% fewer snaps than he previously had.
King played 60% of snaps in 2019 and that could plummet with Harris in the picture. King has to consistently be on the field for at least 60-65% of the time to prove himself impactful enough to warrant a sizable slot contract extension. Oh yeah, and speaking of Chris Harris…