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Chargers 90-in-90: TE Virgil Green

In year three with the Bolts, Green’s run blocking is as important as ever.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Tight end Virgil Green is California product who prepped at Tulare Union High School in Tulare, California. Through his varsity career, Green accumulated 61 catches for 1,014 yards and 12 touchdowns. For his efforts during his senior year, he was named a First-Team member of the Yosemite League honors.

While attending the University of Nevada, Green played in a whopping 50 games with 32 starts. During his four-year career with the Wolfpack, he recorded 939 yards on 72 receptions with 11 touchdowns. Green was named the team’s Strength & Conditioning Athlete of the Year as a junior and earned his first All-WAC honor, this one being a second-team nomination.

As a senior, following a 35-catch, 515-yard, five-touchdown season, Green was named to the First-Team All-WAC squad.

After being invited to the NFL combine, Green put on quite a performance. The 250-pound prospect ran a 4.64 in the forty, an elite 6.90 in the three-cone, and jumped an incredible 42.5 inches in the vertical. Over 10 years ago, that was one of the best outings by a tight end prospect in some time. Even after showing his immense athletic ability, Green still fell all the way to the seventh round where he was selected by the Denver Broncos with pick #204.

Green would go on to play the next seven years with the Broncos, playing mainly in a backup role. He started more than eight games just once during his first six seasons until he got the nod for all 16 during the 2017 season. In 2015, Green posted 12 catches for 173 yards and a lone touchdown for Denver en route to helping them win Super Bowl 50.

In early 2018, Green signed a free agent contract with the Chargers worth $8.5 million. Through his two season in Los Angeles, Green has played in 31 games with 20 starts. He’s recorded just 28 catches for 288 yards and a pair of scores.

Basic Info

Height: 6’5
Weight: 255
College: Nevada
Experience: 9
Years with team: 2

Contract Status

Virgil Green signed a 3 year, $8,600,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $2,400,000 signing bonus, $5,900,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $2,866,667. In 2020, Green will earn a base salary of $2,700,000, while carrying a cap hit of $3,500,000 and a dead cap value of $800,000.” - Spotrac.com

The Good

Green is about to play in his 10th NFL season, which is no small feat. He’s not exactly known for his pass-catching abilities, which can be a huge detriment to tight end in this current age of the game. However, he’s proven time and time again that his run-blocking prowess is at the level where he can be successful on any team he plays for. Heading into a new season where the run game might take precedent over airing it out, Green’s skillset will be all the more valuable going forward.

The Bad

Like I mentioned in the section above, Green is not known for making plays through the air. He’s never recorded either 20+ receptions, 250+ receiving yards, or multiple touchdown catches in any given season. That’s a crazy thing to be able to say about a guy going into his 10th year in the league.

Unlike 2018 when the team had three very viable options at wide receiver, a loss of Hunter Henry again would spell disaster for the Bolts’ offense with just Green and a pair of inexperienced sitting behind him.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2020?

Green is going to make this team as the team’s backup to Hunter Henry. His run-blocking ability makes him valuable despite his less-than-ideal ability as a pass-catcher. The team could save $2.7 million if they were to cut him before the season but I think that would actually hurt the team more compared to what the saved cap space could do for them.