The San Diego Chargers signed Robert Meachem to a four-year deal worth $25.9 million during the off-season. Eddie Royal got a three-year deal worth $13.5 million. Their average salaries rank fourth and 10th on San Diego’s roster.
Meachem is having the worst season of his NFL career, as he is on pace for career lows in receiving yards and touchdown receptions. Royal is averaging a career low 5.3 yards per punt return.
San Diego has found Meachem’s replacement in Danario Alexander. Alexander has 33 receptions, 555 receiving yards and five TD receptions in seven games. Meachem has 14 receptions, 207 yards and two TDs in 12 games. Alexander ranks 10th in the NFL with an average of 79.3 receiving yards per game while Meachem ranks 135th in this category with an average of 17.3 yards per game.
If Alexander played in all of San Diego’s games, he would be on pace for nine TD receptions, which would rank third in the NFL.
Micheal Spurlock could be Royal’s replacement, as he leads San Diego with an average of 10.8 yards per punt return, compared to Royal who is last on the team in this category. Spurlock only has four returns this season, but had three returns for 35 yards in Sunday’s win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Meachem and Royal have been huge disappointments so far for San Diego. If Alexander continues to produce, the front office should re-sign him then release Meachem. Alexander is four years younger than Meachem, so this could be a good move for the future as well.
San Diego has to be better at returning punts because they rank 30th in yards per punt return. It remains to be seen if Spurlock will be the guy to help improve on this, but Royal is certainly not the answer.