Roster cuts are all the rage around the NFL at this time of year, and rightfully so. Some long-tenured veterans will unexpectedly find themselves on the chopping block or at least the roster bubble for the first time in their careers which really adds intrigue to the build up for the upcoming season.
For the San Diego Chargers, the roster bubble is a very real phenomenon as we approach the 2013 season. The Bolts have undergone some serious change already within their organization, and the roster has followed suit with several alterations of its own. Now the race to make the final 53-man roster is heating up, and some names are on the outside looking in that you wouldn’t expect.
Let’s start with the obvious underachiever in wide receiver Robert Meachem. Word around the league is that if he wasn’t guaranteed $5 million this season he would have already been cut by the team in the first paring down. Couple that with the fact that the Bolts have experienced big time injury issues in the receiving corps with Danario Alexander out for the year, Malcom Floyd having a scare with his knee, and Eddie Royal suffering a concussion and a bruised lung, and you have a scenario where Meachem may just survive by default.
Signed to be a potential left tackle fix, Max Starks has lost the starting gig to King Dunlap and could be in a fight for his roster spot with the young Mike Harris at swing tackle. Harris actually started some games last season at left tackle due to the team’s injury issues, and his youth gives him a distinct advantage over the veteran Starks. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bolts save some money and groom Harris for the future in the process.
Le’Ron McClain is a player that just doesn’t fit on the new-look Chargers. Fullbacks are a dying breed, and new head coach Mike McCoy only used one 10 percent of the time last year with the Denver Broncos. He is due some serious money for a fullback at $2.25 million this year and $2.5 million in 2014. This was another one of former general manager A.J. Smith’s reaches in free agency, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see McClain sent packing.
A veteran running back could also be on the bubble according to reports with Ronnie Brown being pushed in the preseason and camp by the impressive Fozzy Whittaker. This potential move goes hand-in-hand with what happens to Whittaker because the Bolts will likely carry three running backs this year. Edwin Baker was already shown the door in the first cut down so the depth at running back is slim with the injury-prone Ryan Mathews and the versatile Danny Woodhead remaining. This battle will be one to keep an eye on in the final preseason game.
The battles continue to be waged as the finish line nears for training camp 2013. Who will make the cut, and who will be shown the door? Plenty of intrigue remains, and these are just some of the more high-profile decisions the Chargers will have to make before 6 p.m. ET on Saturday.