Damion Square returns as one of the longest-tenured Chargers on the team. There was almost a chance the team moved on without him, but he was re-signed early last month to overwhelming positive reviews.
Square is a native of Houston, Texas and played his prep ball at local Yates High School. A rather productive career saw him garner high marks from various scouting platforms, including a rank as the 9th-best linebacker in the country by Scout.com. However, at 6’3 and 270 pounds, sites like Rivals.com and ESPN had him designated as a defensive tackle and defensive end respectively. He was the 24th-rated end by ESPN and left graduated Yates as a three-star prospect.
After committing to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide, square saw playing time as a true freshman but logged just a single and a half of a tackle-for-loss. His totals all jumped substantially as a sophomore when he posted 27 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss, and three sacks.
Over the next two seasons, Square collected a total of 65 tackles, 11 of them going for a loss, 4.5 sacks, and two pass deflections at the line.
Square went undrafted in 2013 and initially signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a free agent. He played in 10 games as a rookie, finishing with four tackles, one for a loss, and a pass deflection. He did not record any statistics during the 2014 season after starting the year with the Kansas City Chiefs before finishing the second half of the season with the Chargers.
From 2015 to last year, Square has played a key role as a primary rotation player along the defensive line who can sub in at three of the four positions. He’s played in every game of the past three seasons and has 23 career starts with the Bolts. His most-productive season came in 2018 when he filled in for an injured Joey Bosa. He started a career-high 11 games that season and racked up high marks in tackles (31), sacks (3), and pass deflections (3).
Years with team: 5
“Damion Square signed a 1 year, $1,750,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $137,500 signing bonus, $400,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $1,750,000. In 2020, Square will earn a base salary of $1,612,500 and a signing bonus of $137,500, while carrying a cap hit of $1,187,500 and a dead cap value of $400,000.” - Spotrac.com
The biggest value that Square brings to the Chargers is his versatility and consistency. When Bosa was hurt to start the 2018 season, he played the majority of his snaps at the big end spot. When there is ever an injury at either interior position, he’s also the first guy to step in there. At 31-years old, Square is still an easy plug-and-play player that the team can rely on to do his job without having to worry about their being a gaping hole at the position.
Damion Square needs to be re-signed. He was probably the best defensive tackle on the team last year. Would give the Chargers a very good quartet of DT's next year, assuming Jones and Tillery keep developing. That swim move is lethal. pic.twitter.com/qOzkxtnDa5— Guilty As Charged Podcast (@GACPodcast17) March 23, 2020
Square is unfortunately on the wrong side of thirty and the older he gets, the more he’s likely decline at a faster rate. At least, that’s how things usually go. He showed no signs of regression last season and he works his tail off in the offseason to stay in shape so I’m not too worried about that.
However, Square still must fight for snaps behind Linval Joseph, Justin Jones, an improved Jerry Tillery, and Cortez Broughton. If Tillery doesn’t progress the way the team expected, Square could see the third-most snaps along the interior, but I hope that’s not the case.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2020?
Square will make this team as their fourth player at defensive tackle. There will be a decent rotation and he’ll likely see some snaps at base end if injuries show their head at any point. He had four starts last season and finished with a single tackle-for-loss in 27 total stops. He’s likely going to match those statistics but I don’t see him starting any games if the team stays healthy. Still, he’s a smart and consistent player that truly helps solidify the position group for the Chargers.