When Robert Meachem was signed last offseason to help offset the lost production of Vincent Jackson, no one believed it was an even swap. However, no one expected Meachem to be as poor as he really was with the San Diego Chargers.
Last season, Meachem caught just 14 passes on 32 targets for a career-low 207 yards and 2 touchdowns. He clearly lacked chemistry with Philip Rivers and didn’t catch a pass in the final six games. Normally, a player with such high expectations failing that miserably has no place on the same team’s roster a year later. However, his ridiculous contract will keep him around for another year.
Meachem’s $5 million 2013 salary is fully guaranteed, and the Bolts have decided not to cut him, as it would result in a $10.625 million cap hit.
Though he is by far the Chargers’ highest paid wide receiver, Meachem likely won’t receive much playing time this season with the Bolts. Wide receiver is maybe the Chargers’ deepest position, and the team appears content putting the best receivers on the field, even if it means handing Meachem a lot of money to ride the bench.
General Manager Tom Telesco publicly endorsed Meachem back in February saying, “Early on in the year when he played a little more, he looked pretty good to me, so I’m excited to see him in OTAs, running routes, up close and personal and get to know him a little better.”
In OTAs and minicamp, however, Meachem has been running with the second-team offense and appears to be buried on the depth chart at receiver. Even when Danario Alexander and Eddie Royal were out nursing minor injuries, receivers Vincent Brown and rookie Keenan Allen took snaps with the first team. With veteran Malcom Floyd also in the mix, Meachem as of now appears to be the sixth option at wide receiver.
In his current contract, Meachem is due another $5 million in 2014, but it isn’t guaranteed. Unless he is able to get onto the field and prove to be worth that kind of money, Meachem certainly won’t be back with the Bolts after the season. For his future in the NFL, Meachem needs to have a strong training camp and preseason to earn some playing time so that he can catch on with another team in 2014.