Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman will hit the open market. The 28-year-old has not ruled out a return to the Bolts, but he will first look to see what other clubs have to offer, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link).
LA’s fortunes have been undermined by injuries in recent seasons, and Perryman has certainly dealt with his fair share of health problems. He appeared in only seven games in 2017, only nine the following year, and has never played in more than 14. Even in his injury-marred campaigns, though, he generally operated as a starter. But in 2020, he was utilized in more of a rotational role, starting a career-low six contests.
Despite that, 2020 may have been one of his best seasons. He scored a terrific 83.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus — which would have been fifth-best in the entire league if he had met PFF’s snap minimum — and he demonstrated a marked improvement in his coverage abilities. Long lauded for his hard hitting and run-stuffing prowess, Perryman was more of a complete player last season, which certainly won’t hurt his value.
However, his injury history and the reduced salary cap are both working against him, and those factors could force him to accept a modest one-year pact, as many “middle class” free agents are expected to do in 2021. And with the Chargers also rostering younger players like Kenneth Murray, Drue Tranquill, and Kyzir White, Perryman may feel that a one-year deal on a club that will utilize him in a more prominent role will give him a better chance to make hay in 2022.
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