Former San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith signed former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem to a four-year deal last year. According to the predictions of U-T San Diego beat writer Michael Gehlken and columnist Kevin Acee, Meachem will not make the 53-man roster this year.
Meachem’s best NFL season was in 2009 when he had 45 receptions, 722 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions. He had his worst season as a pro in 2012 when he had 14 receptions, 207 receiving yards and two TD receptions. The latter two categories were career-lows, and the only time that Meachem had fewer receptions was in his rookie season.
According to Tom Krasovic of utsandiego.com, “Meachem has looked decent at best in camp.” This signing by Smith was a mistake, and the only deal that may be worse than Meachem’s was the contract given to former Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Jared Gaither, who was released this year.
Meachem is listed third on San Diego’s depth chart at WR behind Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown. Floyd has been one of San Diego’s best receivers the last two years, but Brown missed the entire 2012 season with a broken ankle. Brown also missed seven of San Diego’s 10 practices this year with an injury, so the fact that Meachem is behind him on the depth chart is not a good sign for the former Saint.
The Meachem signing may have also been a mistake because he had knee surgery after the 2011 season, which may have contributed to his struggles in 2012. He could thrive as a no. 3 or 4 option as he was for the most part with New Orleans, but he is not a no. 1 or 2 option, which is what Smith expected him to be with San Diego.
According to Chris Wesseling of nfl.com, “One person familiar with the situation told Acee emphatically that Meachem is “broken down,” that his body has degenerated since his days with New Orleans from 2007-2011.”
Meachem is guaranteed $5 million this season regardless of whether San Diego keeps, releases or trades him. San Diego’s next preseason game is on Thursday against the Chicago Bears, and it could be Meachem’s last shot at making an impression.