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LA Chargers: It’s better to keep Denzel Perryman than trade him

Denzel Perryman #52 of the LA Chargers (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Denzel Perryman #52 of the LA Chargers (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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It makes more sense for the LA Chargers to keep Denzel Perryman.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report made a list of the player most likely to be traded for each team. For the LA Chargers, he listed Denzel Perryman as the player most likely to be traded before 2020.

Of course, it’s more speculation than any rumor Chargers fans should be concerned with, but it’s an interesting hypothetical. 2020 is almost guaranteed to be Perryman’s last season in Los Angeles due to the fact that the Chargers drafted Kenneth Murray. If it’s going to be his last season as a Charger, why not get something for him in return?

While that sounds good in theory, the reality is that the Chargers aren’t getting much back for Perryman. I’m not sure it would be any higher than a sixth-round pick and it could be as low as a conditional seventh. Linebacker trade value simply isn’t as high as offensive skill positions or the secondary. Plus, Perryman’s injury history probably factors into a smaller return for him.

The Chargers had seven linebackers on their final roster last year. Technically it was eight, but Uchenna Nwosu is effectively an edge rusher. Do the Chargers have seven better linebackers than Perryman on their roster? To me, the answer is a resounding no.

In terms of the younger linebackers with potential, you have Murray, Kyzir White, and Drue Tranquill. Free-agent acquisition Nick Vigil is decent depth. After that point on the depth chart, I feel like I’m really stretching to make an argument for Malik Jefferson or Emeke Egbule being better than Perryman.

Perryman is unlikely to reach the 359 snaps he had last year due to the acquisition of Murray as well as Tranquill’s snaps likely increasing, but he’s still valuable. If Perryman even just has around 150-250 snaps, I still think that’s valuable. Early downs are where he’s most efficient, particularly against the run.

As previously just mentioned, the Chargers aren’t deep at linebacker. If one of the starting linebackers does go down, I’d rather have Perryman than not have him. Mentoring those young guys is also pretty important.

Going into his sixth year in the league, the former U linebacker has significantly more playing experience than any other Chargers’ linebacker on the roster. That’s very valuable when developing a young linebacker corps.

Unless they receive more than a sixth-round pick, it makes sense for the LA Chargers to keep Perryman. He still is a good early-down linebacker, even if he isn’t going to play as many snaps as he did previously. Perryman also agreed to restructure his contract to make it work with the team this year.

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Frankly, I don’t think anyone can honestly look at the roster and put seven other linebackers above Perryman. Even if he isn’t coming back in 2021, his veteran experience is still useful as the team transitions to having a younger linebacker group with future studs like Tranquill and Murray.

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