Meachem was replaced in the starting lineup by Danario Alexander, who led San Diego in receiving yards per game, yards per reception and was tied for the team lead with seven TD receptions.
There was talk that Vincent Brown could be a starter last year before he broke his ankle against the Dallas Cowboys and missed the entire 2012 season. San Diego added former California Golden Bears WR Keenan Allen in round three of this year’s draft, which should add depth to the position for the Chargers. Malcom Floyd led San Diego in receiving yards and ranked third on the roster in TD receptions last year.
Meachem’s struggles last season may have been due to him not being fully recovered from knee surgery which he had after the 2011 season.
Floyd and Alexander are injury-prone; Allen tore his PCL in October of last year which is why his draft stock dropped, and Brown is coming back from a broken ankle. Meachem missed three games in five NFL seasons, so he has value to San Diego considering the injury history of some of their receivers.
Meachem’s 13.8 receiving yards per game last season would have ranked 137th out of 140 players if he had enough receptions to qualify for this category. He is one of San Diego’s highest-paid players, which is another reason why the Lighting Bolts need him to play better this year. There may have been pressure put on Meachem by himself to live up to his four-year deal worth $25.9 million, which could have contributed to his poor season.
I do not think San Diego will release or trade Meachem this year because he has proven to be durable. If he struggles again, San Diego should go after a WR in free agency or round one of next year’s draft.