The weakest position group on the roster for the defending champions continues to be linebacker, where the team returns high-priced veteran Anthony Hitchens, underachiever Darius Harris, 2019 acquisition Damien Wilson, rising playmaker Ben Niemann and major disappointment Dorian O’Daniel. In addition, the team used their second round pick in 2020 to add Mississippi State’s Willie Gay, Jr.
The Chiefs lost Reggie Ragland in free agency, a bigger loss than most realize as he played well for the Chiefs down the stretch in 2020. Just who the starters will be beyond Hitchens is the biggest mystery for Kansas City at the moment.
The Chargers, inversely, have an overabundance of talent at linebacker. The team used their second and third round picks to trade up and take highly touted linebacker Kenneth Murray in the draft, and he’ll be added to an already deep and talented corp of players at the position. They also signed veteran Nick Vigil away from the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency.
This signals the end of the line for Denzel Perryman in Los Angeles. He has under-performed in his five-year NFL career since the Chargers drafted him in the second round of 2015, mostly due to his inability to stay on the field. The Chargers are likely going to try to get something in return for their investment prior to releasing him
A 5th round pick would be a modest investment which is comparable to what Veach has given up for underachieving former high draft picks in the past. Perryman could compete for a starting job in Kansas City this season.