When looking at the 2015 Chargers, it is difficult to find many bright spots outside of the play of quarterback Philip Rivers and the performance of third-year wideout Keenan Allen prior to his placement on injured reserve due to a lacerated kidney.
For those of you who are not Chargers fans, or those of you who are not watching each and every play of every game, the bright spots are few and far between.
Senior writer of BoltBlitz.com Brian Krich will be highlighting several players that fit that mold within the next few days.
Though I don’t believe in luck, I wish him the best of luck during his analysis.
In an effort to hone in on one player that has raised his level of play to one of which that is a bright spot, one needs not look past the performance of rookie linebacker Denzel Perryman.
A second-round selection out of the University of Miami, Perryman fits the mold of that “hammer” who general manager Tom Telesco covets; one who “brings the wood” on each and every down; a defender who shows up to make stops on opposing players with bad intentions. To put it quite simply, the rook wants to impose his will on every offensive player whom he gets within an arm’s reach of, forcing them to remember that No. 52 is there to physically annihilate them.
In limited playing time this year, the former Hurricane has done just that.
Since being inserted into the starting lineup, Perryman has proved to be a big-time hitter, despite his lack of starting snaps.
Now that his playing time has increased, even the casual fan can see the impact that Perryman has while in the game.
This was especially evident in Sunday’s 17-3 loss to the Broncos.
The inside linebacker was all over the field, leading the defense with 10 total tackles, which, per the box score, were all solo stops.
Though he is still figuring out how to be an effective member of the defensive side of the ball in pass coverage, Perryman is a MAN against the run.
The Chargers’ defense finally has a presence in the middle worthy of opposing defenses game planning around for years to come.
Don’t expect to get to the second level without having Perryman greet you with a “nasty welcome.”
Should the emergence of Perryman continue for the remaining four games of the season, Donald Butler may be looking for a new job come the 2016 season.
Butler’s play has been underwhelming in ’15, despite what many saw as a strong offseason for the overpaid linebacker.
The 27-year-old signed a seven-year, $51.8 million contract during the 2014 offseason. Though he flashed solid ability at times, many would argue that he had yet to do anything which would garner such a hefty deal.
Should the Chargers part ways with Butler following this season, the team will lose $6.69 million against the salary cap next year. That being said, they would save $4.65 million in cash.
The team could have in excess of $25 million in salary cap room in 2016, and that’s prior to the league increasing each team’s cap number by what is expected to be as much as $10 million.
Denzel Perryman and Manti Te’o are the future of this team’s inside linebacking corps moving forward. They complement each other very well and they seem to be on the same page already. All of this leads to the Chargers deciding that Butler will be expendable due to an outrageous salary and ineffective play.