Donnie Edwards - Linebacker - 2002
A hometown kid from San Diego, and playing against them as a rival with being on the Chiefs, got the ability to return to San Diego to play for the Chargers on a five-year deal worth around $19 million. Totaling over 100 combined tackles in all but his rookie season on the Chiefs, this signing had the potential to be one of the best moves in free agency that the Chargers have ever made.
In his five years as a Charger, he totaled over 125 tackles in every season, made it to one pro bowl, received AP second-team honors twice, and was in the running for defensive player of the year in 2004. He also recorded a total of 17 interceptions in his five-year campaign with the Chargers.
His ability to impact the game and always be able to make the necessary tackle was one of the most attractive parts of his game. On top of this, being able to play alongside superstar Junior Seau is something that almost any high-value free agent would look forward to do. The combination of the two linebackers in their lone season together was dominant, adding up to a combined 213 tackles.
Donnie Edwards' explosive play not just as a tackler, but in defending the pass as well is the reason that he is one of the top players in the Chargers' history that they signed during free agency.