Robert Meachem will be a better replacement for Vincent Jackson than Legedu Naanee was in 2010
The San Diego Chargers signed Robert Meachem to a four year deal worth $25.9 million on March 13, 2012. Meachem spent the first four years of his career with the New Orleans Saints. In his career, Meachem has 141 receptions, 2,269 yards and 23 touchdowns. Meachem’s best season came in 2009 when he caught 45 passes for 722 yards and nine touchdown receptions. Meachem had 40 receptions, 620 yards and six touchdowns for New Orleans during the 2011 NFL season.
Legedu Naanee was the primary replacement for Vincent Jackson during the 2010 season when Jackson missed 11 games. Naanee had 23 receptions, 371 yards and one touchdown that season. He was on pace for 37 receptions, 594 yards and two touchdowns in a full season. Meachem’s worst season in terms of receptions and receiving yards when he got significant playing time came in the aforementioned 2011 campaign when he caught 40 passes for 620 yards, but it was also his second best season in touchdown receptions.
Jackson signed a five year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worth $55.5 million on March 13, 2012. Meachem is the guy who will be the primary replacement for Jackson in 2012. I do not expect Meachem to match Jackson’s 2011 production which was 60 receptions, 1,106 yards and nine touchdowns, but I do expect him to be more productive than Naanee in 2010. The Chargers also have a better primary running back in Ryan Mathews than they had in 2010 with Mike Tolbert. Tolbert had 182 attempts for 735 yards, which is four yards per attempt, and 11 touchdowns. Mathews had 222 attempts and 1,091 yards, which is five yards per attempt, to go along with six touchdowns. This will open up the field more for Meachem as well as Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates and the rest of San Diego’s wide receivers and tight ends.