San Diego Chargers: Vincent Jackson

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.
A few years ago, when asked my thoughts on San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers, I would give this stock answer: He’s the best player in the NFL without a Super Bowl ring.

Circa 2008-2010, that was not an unreasonable response. Rivers was on the cusp of being an elite player quarterback. However, things have changed in the past couple of years. Rivers’ turnover rate has gone out of control and several talented quarterbacks emerged and overshadowed him.

I still think Rivers, 31, can be a top quarterback. It is not his fault the previous San Diego regime let skill-position players like Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles and Mike Tolbert leave. It is not his fault his offensive line was ravaged by injuries. Rivers needs help. If he gets it, he can be terrific again.

But I can’t say I don’t have a big problem with Rivers not being on’s list of the top 100 players on offense. There are 15 quarterbacks on the list, which shows this is a golden age for NFL quarterbacks.

So, tough decisions have to be made. Rivers’ recent play doesn’t give him much equity. Of the 15 quarterbacks on the list, perhaps the only one I think I’d put Rivers over at this point is Chicago’s Jay Cutler, who is ranked at No. 97.

The new Chargers’ brass is excited about Rivers moving forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if his national reputation soars again, but because of the last two years, his omission from this list is understandable.