Chargers go cheaper at receiver

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When we last heard from Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith, he was firing shots at Peyton and Archie Manning.  This time around, Smith is sending his message a bit more subtly.

Hours after former Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson agreed to terms with the Buccaneers on a five-year, $55,555,555 contract that pays $26 million in fully guaranteed money over the first two years, Smith signed receiver Robert Meachem to a four-year deal reportedly worth $25.9 million.

So Smith is basically saying to Jackson and his agents, “I got Meachem for four years for less than what the Bucs paid you for two.”

Meachem, 27, is only two years younger than the Jackson, but Jackson has been the far superior player.  Though their numbers surely will be compared over the next two seasons or more, the impact of Meachem’s speed won’t show up on the stat sheet — except in the catches made by other receivers who have more room to move underneath while Meachem pulls coverage deep.

35 responses to “Chargers go cheaper at receiver

  1. It’s too bad vinny had to go he was a perfect fit for the chargers but there’s no way aj and spanoes would have paid him what he got from the bucs and after watching him last year he deserves to be paid! With that said meachum isn’t a terrible signing. Rivs loves the deep ball and this could open things up for a guy like Vincent Brown.

  2. maximusprime107 says:
    Mar 14, 2012 4:45 AM
    Meachem is average at best. Jackson is and will always be the better receiver

    Is ANYONE saying VJ isnt?

  3. Im curious now..jackson has freeman at qb and i think hes regressed quite a bit in tampa and the bucs offense was abysmal last year.Meachem has rivers at qb and he did have a down year last year which i beleive was due to injury and will bounce back this we shall see.

  4. actually if you compare vj’s first 4 years to meachem’s first 4 years it’s eerily similar

    althought i believe meachem has 6 more tds in his first 4 years than vj had

    vj looks like he’s got high priced FA bust written all over him, like almost every high priced FA does….

    plus one more dui and he’s gone for a year

    and now he got paid…..not a great mix there

  5. Hmmmm….

    Does anyone else think that this was a desperation move by the Chargers? I can’t imagine anyone NOT thinking that San DIego overpaid for Meachem….

    $6.5 million a year for New Orleans’ 4th WR??? I wonder how much of this was A.J. making sure his former guy Buddy Nix in Buffalo didn’t get the signing…?

  6. When was the last high profile WR signing in FA that had a big hand in a team getting to the SB (Burress) and did that guy perform dominantly in said SB (no)?
    Hard to argue w/ Smith on this one.

  7. Good luck getting V Jax to show up every week. He’ll have 150 yds and 2 tds one week, then 1 catch for 7 yds the next. That guy disappears a LOT. When he’s on, you wonder how anyone can stop him. Good luck finding what makes him go.

  8. So Smith is basically saying to Jackson and his agents, “I got Meachem for four years for less than what the Bucs paid you for two.”

    Lol, yeah, I think we can chalk that one up to over-imagination.

  9. 32 years ago John Jefferson was the first wide receiver to start his career with three 1000 yd seasons and had 36 TDs in that span. He was traded from SD to Green Bay after a contract dispute. He went from catching balls from Dan Fouts to catching balls from Lynn Dickey. The following 4 years he had 632 yds and 4 TD, 452 yds and no TD, 830 yds and 7 TDs, and 339 yds and no TDs. After a one years stay in Cleveland where he caught 3 balls for 30 yds, he was out of football.

    Sometimes the quarterback and system make a huge difference.

    The Chargers replaced him by trading for Wes Chandler in 1981 from NO where he had been catching passes from some inbred hick. Even sharing the ball with Charlie Joiner and Kellen Winslow, Wes had a pretty good career in San Diego.

  10. AJ Smith makes questionable decisions but this move was actually brilliant. Why Pay Vincent Jackson 55.5 million dollars when you know he is a product of a system. Phillip Rivers threw for 4700 yards and almost 40 tds in 2010 to guys named Seyi Ajirotutu and Legadu Nanee…. Everyone is praising Vincent Jackson because he has a 17.5 career avg. but I bet you didn’t know his former teammate Malcolm Floyd has a higher avg. at 17.9 Vincent Jackson also hasn’t caught double digit Td’s in a season or surpass 68 rec. in a season. Vincent Jackson is a helleva wide receiver but he did not deserve all that money. The Buc’s simply overpaid for an above average Wide receivers. Kudos to AJ Smith for realizing he has a pro bowl QB who makes guys around him better and saving tons of money to help rebuild the defensive side of the ball. Josh Freeman is no Phillip Rivers and i won’t be surprised if this marriage turned out to be like Sidney Rice and the Seahawks.

  11. OK, so the Saints basically traded Meachem for Sproles (think of a baseball trade, where in this case Meachem was the “player to be named later”…).

    Anyway, Meachem is a bigger asset than some of you think. He did more than just clear out zones for others to work underneath routes; he was the Saints’ best blocking WR, as evidenced by the fact that he had the second most snaps at
    WR for the team and was the guy on the field when we ran 1WR sets.

  12. That dude was IN BUFFALO LAST NIGHT. We had him in our hands. What a great addition he would have been to that Buffalo offense.

    Congrats Chargers fans, I think he’s capable of playing as well as Vince Jackson.

  13. My guess is that Meachem + Rivers + Turner will produce better numbers than VJ + Freeman + Schiano.

  14. “Going cheaper” had better lead to filling some other holes without waiting until 3 weeks into free agency! I’m not saying Mario Williams or anything, but we have a lot of areas of need.

  15. was definetly part desperation big franky, but at the same time, meachem’s younger, and he’s not going to break the bank like vj obviously would have in sd

    plus , by all accounts meachem isn’t one dui away from a year-long vacation….

  16. It really doesn’t matter. The dysfunctional Bolts will again be picked to “win it all” by the so called experts and again will choke in the end.

  17. Jackson is stepping into a better situation that the one he left behind — he’s not a complete receiver himself, and needs other people around him with specific skill sets in order to thrive. He has that in Tampa with Kellen Winslow (who probably has a lot more left in the tank than Gates) and Williams, who is a better all-purpose receiver than anyone the Chargers have. But like a couple of other people have said, if he doesn’t have his head on straight, he’ll be the Bucs biggest bust since Alvin Harper.

    I’m not crazy about the Meachem signing, I don’t know that he brings much to the table that isn’t already there with Floyd, except he’s a couple of years younger. They really should have pursued someone like Manningham — a solid #2 receiver with some upside potential.

  18. Meachem would disappear for 3 – 4 games at a time even in the Saints high octane offense. Average at best. Definitely not worth that kind of money. He’s a #3 WR

  19. “I got Meachem for four years for less than what the Bucs paid you for two.”

    I’m starting to see why the Chargers can’t seem to take that next step and reach a SB. This guy is over there worrying about mundane details and how he can make childish taunts within a contract. Just focus on what’s best for the team instead of wasting time to make sure that your new free agent is paid 1% less than the guy you lost. Grow up.

  20. This is the problem with Smith. I am sure he believes that he just upgraded his team. Not because he got a better player than he had, but because he got him cheap.

  21. The Jackson contract was beyond foolish. Top two WR money for a guy who’s probably not even in the top dozen WR’s in the league? Tampa has tons of cap room and need to actually sell some tickets, but five years, $55 million for Vincent Jackson has cut after three seasons written all over it.

  22. > he was the Saints’ best blocking WR

    Colston is and will always be a superior blocker to Meach. Yeah, we will miss him, but I will take Sproles over Meach any day. Meachem was Drew’s 5th option. He’s a good player, but could never crack the starting lineup.

  23. Would constantly not run all the way through his routes, you could tell when Brees would go to him as a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th option. When he thought he wasn’t getting the ball, he looked effortless and usually would get overthrown. And he most certainly would disappear in a stretch of games. It’s Adrian Arrington Time.

  24. Nice work AJ! Meachem has good speed, & Philip Rivers has demonstrated in the past, a vertical passing game as well as the ability to have success with different receivers. Also, I am really excited to watch Vincent Brown this year! He seems to be flying under the radar somewhat, but I think he is a rising star. The athletic ability is clear, & when the ball is in the air he goes up and gets it. I would anticipate continued improvement from Vincent Brown, not unlike a young Vincent Jackson.

  25. Wow, a lot of people dogging Freeman. If only these people actually watched the games, instead of just looking at last year’s stats.

    Last year, yes dismal. Previous year, great stats. Why? Injuries on the O-line… He had no protection, AND, our OC absolute sucked. Freeman has a great arm, and he had to force his throws last year, with no protection. This year, with the signings, and the Targets that he will have in a more mature Williams, and a healthy Winslow, and not to mention that one guy Jackson… The Bucs will raise some eyebrows this year.

  26. For the next two years, VJ make about 12 million more than Meachem. It won’t be fair to compare the two and say who did better. You have to include the player(s) that SD sign’s with that other 12 million. That’s the key.

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