Let’s take a moment to recollect back to early this offseason when the San Diego Chargers‘ new general manager Tom Telesco tagged Danario Alexander with the original round tender as a restricted free agent. Many were flabbergasted as to why the team would designate a player that went undrafted with no compensation if he were to sign with a different club.
Well, his now torn right ACL explains the move quite suitably.
Originally signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2010, Alexander came with the baggage of a completely reconstructed knee from his days at the University of Missouri. In St. Louis he suffered several issues with the knee making him a relatively useless target for the Rams offensively. They cut him prior to the 2012 season which led to his eventual landing and rebirth in San Diego off of the scrap heap midway through last year.
What led to Alexander’s release from St. Louis was that team doctors said his knee would never be right again. The instability in his knee was believed to be permanent and swelling would always be an issue for the receiver during his career.
The knee that has given Alexander headaches during his career to date has been his left knee. This time the injury suffered is to his right knee which will make the rehab process and his eventual return to health all the more difficult.
While it may not be the time to gloat for the Bolts who were counting on DX to be a big part of their offense this season, their decision give him the original round tender and pay him $1.323 million in 2013 as opposed to a first round tender which would have been worth $2.879 million was pretty savvy in hindsight. Many (myself included) worried that other teams would attempt to sign Alexander to an offer sheet that the Chargers couldn’t match in the offseason to lure him away from San Diego, but that never materialized.
This is going to be an enormous hill to climb for a receiver that turns 25 years of age today, August 7. His countless knee surgeries to date will give any potentially interested team serious pause when considering an investment in him in the upcoming offseason when he hits the free agent market.
For the Chargers as a team, wide receiver was arguably one of their deeper positions with Alexander in the fold. Now minus him they still have a decent complement of targets for quarterback Philip Rivers. Malcom Floyd and Alexander were listed as starters on the initial depth chart, but now it seems likely Vincent Brown will bump up to fill that spot with Eddie Royal playing in the slot. Rookie Keenan Allen and free agent bust to date Robert Meachem will battle it out for reps at the fourth wide out spot.
Things could certainly be worse for the Bolts as a result of this injury, but losing a key contributor is never a positive thing. Hopefully the depth behind DX can step up and produce in his absence during the 2013 NFL season.