The San Diego Chargers still need to make 11 more cuts before Saturday’s roster cut down deadline of 6p.m. ET, but their first slew of releases didn’t lack for headlines. While it didn’t include the name that many Bolts fans are hoping to see before the 53-man version is set in stone, there is still time for the team to make things right.
Max Starks was the biggest name on the group of names included in the first paring down. The former Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle was brought in via free agency after San Diego failed to lure Bryant McKinnie to their roster. Starks has battled injuries for the past few years, and he may have trouble finding work in the NFL after this latest development. The 31 year-old lost out in the training camp battle to King Dunlap for the right to protect quarterback Philip Rivers’ blindside this season.
While the release of Starks shouldn’t come as a surprise, the ascension of Dunlap is somewhat noteworthy. During his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Dunlap was much maligned for his inconsistent play and inability to keep defenders away from his quarterback. He started 12 games in 2012 and played himself into a full-time starting gig this year with the Bolts after Jason Peters missed all of last season in Philly.
Obviously the cut that was alluded to in the opening as the elephant in the room is the lackluster Robert Meachem. Even though it would cost just as much to cut him as it would to keep him in the upcoming season, it would be in the best interest of the locker room if the Chargers just parted ways with former general manager’s failed experiment. Meachem’s body is deteriorating according to many sources, and his recent concussion in the club’s final preseason game didn’t do him any favors. The sheer fact that he’s making $5 million this season regardless is unnerving to many, and for fellow players to see him rotting on the bench making that kind of cash would be quite disheartening to their work ethic.
So now it’s time to cross your fingers if you are a fan of the Chargers and hope that Meachem is included among the final 11 names that the team sends packing by 6p.m.ET Saturday. The new GM Tom Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy have done a wonderful job thus far of cleaning up the mess from the previous regime, but there is still plenty of work to be done. Their recent decisions point toward there being no favoritism thus far, so hopefully that continues and Meachem find his way out as well.