A big reason why A.J. Smith is no longer the general manager in San Diego is that most of the players he’s acquired in recent years have fallen well short of expectations on the field.
One of those players is likely to stick around the Chargers for at least one more year and he’s got the contract that Smith gave him to thank for the second chance. Wide receiver Robert Meachem flopped in 2012, finishing with 14 catches and 207 yards during a year that saw him basically benched for the final couple of months of the season. He’s got $5 million in guaranteed money coming his way, though, and a $10 million-plus cap hit if he’s released (it’s $6.875 million if he sticks around), so the new regime is trying to put a happy face on things.
Coach Mike McCoy and wide receivers coach Fred Graves have both reached out to Meachem since joining the team to express their desire to work together in 2013 and General Manager Tom Telesco is talking up some positive signs in his review of Meachem’s 2012 work.
“I was actually watching the tape of him,” Telesco said, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Early on in the year when he played a little more, he looked pretty good to me, so I’m excited to see him in OTAs, running routes, up close and personal and get to know him a little better.”
Bringing Meachem in as part of the plan to replace Vincent Jackson was symptomatic of the kinds of personnel swaps the Chargers kept making despite diminishing returns just about every time. Whether or not they can salvage anything from Meachem, the new leadership would like to avoid similar mistakes during their own tenure.