San Diego’s front office fired A.J. Smith after 10 years as general manager and he was replaced by former Indianapolis Colts Director of Player Personnel Tom Telesco. San Diego is about $6.5 million under the salary cap which does not leave much room for improvement through free agency and or trades.
According to Kevin Acee of utsdandiego.com, “Still, general manager Tom Telesco would not rule out the Chargers seeking immediate relief by reworking some current contracts.”
San Diego’s front office is expected to choose the best offensive lineman available with the 11th pick in round one of the 2013 NFL Draft. This will more than likely be former Oklahoma Sooners left tackle Lane Johnson.
The Chargers could clear cap space by releasing veteran players as opposed to restructuring deals. Johnson will more than likely be the replacement for Jared Gaither who has proven to be injury prone.
Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem had the worst season in his career. In 15 games with San Diego, Meachem had 14 receptions, 207 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions.
San Diego’s front office could release Eddie Royal who averaged a career low 5.3 yards per punt return. If San Diego’s front office releases Gaither, Meachem and Royal, it would add $5.4 million in cap space for 2013.
The Lighting Bolts are thin at cornerback because they have three guys under contract who play this position. Marcus Gilchrist, Johnny Patrick and Shareece Wright have combined for eight career starts. San Diego could use the $5.4 million they would clear to bring back Antoine Cason who started 45 of San Diego’s last 48 games at cornerback. Cason led San Diego in pass deflections and interceptions in 2010 while he led them in pass deflections from 2010-12.
I expect a move or moves to be made to give the front office flexibility through free agency and trades.