The San Diego Chargers finished their 2012 season with a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs for the third season in a row. It was no secret that changes were going to be made after the 2012 season.
Former Indianapolis Colts Director of Player Personnel Tom Telesco was brought in to replace A.J. Smith as general manager. Former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is the new head coach.
According to Kevin Acee of utsandiego.com, Telesco said “We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of improvements to make. We have a lot of decisions to make going forward. We need to upgrade the roster. That’s why the job was open, why there’s a new head coach and GM here.”
The move that most people expect to happen is San Diego’s front office releasing left tackle Jared Gaither who signed a four year deal worth $24.6 million last year. Gaither missed 12 games with injuries in 2012, has a history of injury problems and his will to come back from injury was reportedly questioned by teammates. Telesco said that he wants to meet with Gaither before any decision is made about his future with the team.
Another roster move to be considered, is releasing Eddie Royal who signed a three year deal worth $13.5 million last year. Royal ranked last on San Diego’s roster with a career low 5.3 yards per punt return.
If former Oklahoma Sooners left tackle Lane Johnson is still available, San Diego’s front office is expected to choose him with the 11th pick in round one of the 2013 NFL Draft. San Diego may have to trade up a few spots to get Johnson, but this would guarantee the end of Gaither’s tenure with the team.
Royal had 12 returns for 64 yards in 2012 compared to Micheal Spurlock who had 11 returns, 188 yards and a touchdown. Spurlock is a free agent, so San Diego could re-sign him and release Royal. It will be interesting to see which moves are made by Telesco to improve the roster.