San Diego Chargers: A.J. Smith

One of the worst decisions of the A.J. Smith era in San Diego came to a head Saturday.

U-T San Diego reported that the Chargers cut receiver Robert Meachem. In March 2012, Smith, who was fired as the team’s general manager after last season, signed Meachem hours after star receiver Vincent Jackson walked to Tampa Bay in free agency.

Meachem, a rotational player in New Orleans, did virtually nothing last season in San Diego. He didn’t establish himself this preseason. However, there was a thought the Chargers could keep him because they are thin at the position and the sticky little point that Meachem’s $5 milion salary is guaranteed.

Despite those issues, the Chargers think they are better off without Meachem. He has to go down as one of the worst free-agent signing in recent NFL memory.

Expect the Chargers to be busy scouring the waiver wire for receiver help.

Chargers season prediction: 6-10

August, 28, 2013

For the long haul, I think the San Diego Chargers are heading in the right direction as they begin the Tom Telesco-Mike McCoy era. However, I am not convinced we will see immediate progress.

San Diego went 7-9 last season, the final one of the A.J. Smith-Norv Turner partnership. It was the first time the Chargers had a losing record with Philip Rivers as their starting quarterback, a stretch that dated to 2006.

I foresee the won-loss record getting slightly worse -- San Diego finishing this season 6-10 -- because the Chargers just aren’t very deep. Telesco and McCoy are the right men for the job. They will turn this team around.

But for the immediate future, I think the Chargers may struggle. They are dangerously thin at key spots.

The offensive line is not up to par and I think it will have a difficult time giving Rivers the necessary protection. The receivers group is injured and could suffer further damage as the season goes on.

I like the core of the defense, but there are pass-rush questions and depth issues in the secondary. This is what the Chargers are: a promising work in progress. But for the short term, that could mean a losing season in the first year of the new regime.

Predicted finish in AFC West: third