What is A.J. Smith's future?

December, 27, 2011
12/27/11
4:00
PM ET
The future of San Diego general manager A.J. Smith will remain a hot topic for the next several days.

There is a chance he is fired along with coach Norv Turner as soon as next week. The San Diego Union Tribune reported that Smith could end up as the general manager in St. Louis and bring former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden with him as coach.

Perhaps San Diego management will read that news and think a Smith-Gruden pairing could work in San Diego. ESPN released a statement saying Gruden remains committed to being part of the “Monday Night Football” broadcasting team.

Regardless of what happens, expect to hear plenty about Smith’s future. It seems like Turner’s future has been decided, but Smith could still end up in San Diego.

By the way, it couldn’t have sit well in San Diego on Monday night when ex-Chargers Drew Brees and Darren Sproles connected for a touchdown on a play where Brees became the single-season passing yardage record holder in the NFL.

Brees left San Diego as a free agent after the 2005 season. Sproles signed with the Saints last summer.

It’s difficult to bang on Smith for letting Brees go. The Chargers had Philip Rivers -- Brees was hurt when he left -- and the Chargers are in good shape with Rivers moving forward. However, letting Sproles walk was a mistake. The Chargers’ offense missed a key dimension without Sproles this season.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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