AFC West: Jahleel Addae

Drafted as a developmental prospect last season, receiver Keenan Allen topped the San Diego Chargers' list for performance-based pay in 2013.

Allen added $218,153 to his a little over $1 million in total compensation in 2013. Following Allen on the list for the Chargers were safety Jahleel Addae ($196,582), an undrafted rookie free agent considered a long shot to make the final roster last season; offensive lineman Johnnie Troutman ($187,085); cornerback Richard Marshall ($181,694); and receiver Vincent Brown ($160,243).

Check out the full list for every NFL team here.

Established in 2002 as part of the collective bargaining agreement, the NFL's performance-based pay program is a fund created and used as a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary.

Players become eligible to receive a bonus distribution in any regular season in which they play at least one official down.

Each NFL team received $3.46 million to pay out to their players for the 2013 season. Generally, players who benefit the most from the pool of money are those that played extensively but had low salaries relative to their teammates.

Allen played in 898 offensive snaps in 2013.
SAN DIEGO -- Similar to the team's improved performance defensively, San Diego Chargers rookie safety Jahleel Addae's play has ascended during the second half of the season.

Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano said he took a liking to the undrafted rookie free agent safety out of Central Michigan shortly after the team brought him in after the draft in April while watching him in the team’s offseason program.

“It’s probably one of the best examples that we have, from where he came from during training camp to now,” Pagano said. “The more reps you get, the more trust there is between players and being able to make those calls and being able to line up next to each other. That has been a key for him. He is a young player that is growing, that we are very excited about.”

[+] EnlargeJahleel Addae
AP Photo/Paul JasienskiChargers defensive back Jahleel Addae has 36 tackles and a sack this season.
At 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, Addae was mostly a special teams player during the first half of the season. But as Addae became more comfortable with the defense, Pagano began using him more as a fifth or sixth defensive back in passing situations.

“Obviously, being undrafted was motivation,” Addae said. “Everybody feels like they should be drafted. So that was another chip on my shoulder that I came in here with. And just the love of the game -- I’ve got my God-given ability, and I just try and show that every time I go out there.”

Addae played 53 snaps two weeks ago in a win over pass-happy Denver, as the Chargers played with five defensive backs most of the contest. And against Oakland last week, Addae logged 36 snaps.

Addae has 36 tackles and a sack in part-time duty. More than anything, Pagano said Addae brings a physical presence, energy and emotion to the defense.

“He is instinctive,” Pagano said. “He has that football awareness to be able to go make those football plays. It’s about taking the proper angles. It’s about the correct fit and the right leverage. When you see a player do those things and do them at a fast rate, they really show.”

Added Addae: “They have trust in me. And they give me opportunities to show what I can do and make plays. And I’m just trying to take advantage of it.”

Addae initially attend Central Michigan to play on offense, but after the defensive coaching staff watched him pancake a linebacker on a running play, he switched to defense.

Addae says playing safety runs in his blood. His older brother Jahmile Addae was a four-year starter and two-time captain for Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia. The older Addae was a finalist for the 2005 Ronnie Lott Trophy and was named to the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award that same season.

Jahmile Addae signed a free agent contract with his hometown Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and spent the end of the season with Indianapolis, but injuries cut short his NFL career. He now works as a defensive graduate assistant at the University of Michigan.

“I always feel like I’m playing for him,” Addae said. “I’m playing for him, my family, those who helped me, and those who supported me. It’s much bigger than me.”
Most significant moves: This is a thin roster, so there weren’t a ton of standout cuts here. But there were two veteran names of note to get the axe in the first year of the Tom Telesco-Mike McCoy era in San Diego. Tackle Max Starks and receiver Robert Meachem were cut. Neither were very good this summer. Starks was signed to be the left tackle. But he was beaten out by King Dunlap and then by young Mike Harris to be the swing tackle. Meachem, signed in 2012 by the previous regime to be the No. 1 receiver, was a disaster. The team is thin at receiver and Meachem is guaranteed to make $5 million this season. Still, the Chargers decided to move away from him. Other cuts of note were center David Molk and pass-rusher Thomas Keiser. Both were expected to have roles going into camp.

Going young: This is a team that is rebuilding and the 53-man roster shows it. All six draft picks (cornerback Steve Williams is on the injured reserve) made the team and three undrafted free agents -- safety Jahleel Addae, nose tackle Kwame Geathers and defensive end Brandon Moore -- made the 53-man roster. U-T San Diego reports it’s the first time since 2007 that every draft pick made the team and the first time in 10 years that three undrafted free agents made the roster. Telesco is looking for youth to make an impact. The opportunity is there for these youngsters.

What’s next: This roster is far from set. The Chargers are going to be a work in progress. I expect Telesco will tinker with the bottom of this roster for the next several weeks, maybe even all season. As an executive in Indianapolis, Telesco was known for his eye for talent and for being able to pick up pieces off the street. Thus, this is his time to shine. He has plenty of work to do in San Diego. The Chargers could use depth on the offensive line, at receiver, on the defensive line, at outside linebacker and in the secondary. The team’s special teams was weak in the preseason. That’s a telltale sign of poor depth. So, more players are needed. Among the players San Diego could potentially look at are receivers Lavelle Hawkins, Chris Harper, Russell Shepard, Tavarres King, linemen Ben Ijalana, Fernando Velasco, Jake Scott and Danny Watkins and defensive tackle Drake Nevis.

Players cut: CB Cornelius Brown, OT Nick Becton, DE Frank Beltre, S Sean Cattouse, TE Ben Cotton, CB Marcus Cromartie, LB Phillip Dillard, CB Greg Gatson, CB Logan Harrell, DE Jerrell Harris, RB Michael Hill, CB Josh Johnson, LB Thomas Keiser, WR Robert Meachem, CB William Middleton, LB Dan Molls, WR David Molk, OT Randy Richards, TE David Rolf, G Steve Schilling, OT Max Starks, WR Luke Tasker.

Random thoughts on the San Diego Chargers' 33-28 loss at the Chicago Bears on Thursday night:

There’s no getting around it: San Diego’s first-team offense was awful.

It’s the preseason and I have never been an August alarmist, but the problems that plagued San Diego in Chicago are the same issues that sabotaged the team in recent years. They were the reason why new head coach Mike McCoy was brought in.

San Diego looked good offensively against Seattle last week, but it was a disaster on Thursday night. The first-unit offense committed four turnovers (backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst was on the field with the rest of the starters for one of them).

Quarterback Philip Rivers threw an interception and lost a fumble on a sack. Turnovers have been a problem for Rivers the past two years. He also hasn’t gotten much protection. That was an issue again Thursday night as Rivers was sacked three times in three series. That’s ridiculous, but it’s nothing new.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Rivers was sacked every 11.9 times he dropped back to pass last season -- the worst rate in the NFL. The pace was much higher in this game. It has to get better or the Chargers and Rivers will falter regardless of the good work McCoy and his staff are doing.
  • Max Starks started over King Dunlap at left tackle. Dunlap started last week and has been the starter most of camp. Dunlap played the second drive and is considered the favorite to win the job. Starks was beaten badly on a play Rivers was sacked and where he lost a fumble on the third drive. The performance could go a long way in giving Dunlap the job.
  • Guard D.J. Fluker, the No. 11 overall draft pick this year, has struggled in pass protection, but has been awesome in run-blocking. That’s the book on him as a rookie.
  • Running back Ryan Mathews looked good. He ran hard and had 45 yards on nine touches. He will be fine if he can finally stay healthy.
  • Whitehurst had a solid night. He completed 9 of 13 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns. He improved from last week and his performance in Chicago quieted talk that he could be replaced as the backup.
  • Rookie quarterback Brad Sorensen was also good as he went 8-for-14 for 127 yards and a touchdown.
  • The first-team San Diego defense was decent, considering all the turnovers it had to deal with. The unit has some holes, but it’s further along than the offense at this point.
  • The Chargers have been beyond shaky on special teams in two preseason games. They were alarmingly bad in all phases at Chicago. McCoy believes the team will be better in the regular season because of injuries. Guys are playing who won’t be in a few weeks.
  • Rookie receiver Keenan Allen's chances of winning the punt-returning job decreased when he badly muffed a punt and it was recovered by Chicago. Can’t do that, rookie.
  • Running back Danny Woodhead did not play as he comes back from an undisclosed injury. He is expected to make his preseason debut next week.
  • Second-year tight end Ladarius Green had a touchdown catch for the second straight game and he totaled five catches for 78 yards for the night. He is showing he may be a factor this season.
  • Former Green Bay linebacker D.J. Smith continued to look good for San Diego.
  • Key backup cornerback Johnny Patrick was shaken up.
  • Undrafted rookie safety Jahleel Addae continued to make a push to make the 53-man roster.
  • Detroit is reportedly signing defensive tackle Justin Bannan. The Chargers had interest in him earlier this summer and could still use depth on the defensive line.
SAN DIEGO -- Some notes from the Chargers’ minicamp Tuesday:

New coach Mike McCoy seems to have the trust of his players. It appears the group, which has been coached by Norv Turner since 2007, has totally bought into McCoy and there is a strong chemistry building between the players and the coaching staff.

McCoy
McCoy may never win any awards for his media candor, but his players have been struck by him and that is what’s most important.
  • McCoy has been talking up quarterback Philip Rivers all offseason. Tuesday was no different: “Philip is going to have a great year. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
  • New running back Danny Woodhead looks good. He is versatile and I expect him to be a part of a lot of packages in the offense.
  • Undrafted rookie free agents, cornerback Kenny Okoro and safety Jahleel Addae, have had strong springs. If they continue to perform well in training camp, they could be in the mix for the 53-man roster.
  • His new teammates have clearly taken to D.J. Fluker. The first-round pick was the voice of the team’s huddle to start minicamp Tuesday. That says a lot about the offensive lineman. Players and coaches are raving about Fluker.
  • McCoy is excited about adding pass-rusher Dwight Freeney to the defense. Even though Freeney has excelled in a 4-3 defense, McCoy reiterated Tuesday he has no worries that Freeney will fit into the Chargers’ 3-4 defense. The team is often multiple in its looks on passing downs.
  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that linebacker Takeo Spikes will visit the Rams this week. He was with the Chargers last season.

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