Chargers Roster

LA Chargers Training Camp: Players who must impress to avoid being cut

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 16: Wide Receiver Darius Jennings #15 of the Tennessee Titans in action against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 16, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 16: Wide Receiver Darius Jennings #15 of the Tennessee Titans in action against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 16, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

Darius Jennings, WR

This offseason, LA Chargers fans were excited to hear that they got the returner that they have long been looking for when the team signed Darius Jennings to a one-year, $910k contract.

Jennings has accumulated stats in three years in the NFL, playing a part of one year with the Cleveland Browns as well as the last two seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

Over the last two seasons with the Titans, Jennings averaged 28.8 yards per return. For reference, Desmond King, the Chargers leading returner in 2019, averaged 20.7 yards per return.

Of course, the return game is also greatly predicated on the team’s blocking, and the Chargers have been notorious for having poor special teams performance. With more than an additional 8 yards per return, Jennings is clearly an upgrade from any Chargers returner in recent memory.

In addition to return ability, Jennings has flashed some ability to be a versatile receiver and rusher in his career. However, his versatility seems to be matched by another player on the roster.

In Joe Reed, the LA Chargers drafted a virtual Jennings clone – Reed is versatile enough to be a runner or receiver, and he was the best returner available in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The presence of a higher-ceiling version of Darius Jennings makes Jennings somewhat expendable.

However, given the return challenges that the Chargers have faced recently (highlighted by the incompetence of Travis Benjamin), the team may be interested in a reliable returner with experience like Jennings. However, with the presence of Reed, Jennings is going to need to prove his worth in training camp to keep his place on the roster.

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