July 24, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith stands on the sideline during training camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

AJ Smith and Norv Turner to be Fired in Offseason; Jimmy Raye Likely Heir Apparent

Get ready for this to be denied by everyone in Chargers Park, but Kevin Acee is reporting that AJ Smith will join Norv Turner in the unemployment line at the end of the season. “Sources” are saying that Dean Spanos decided that Norv would be gone a month ago and that AJ Smith is likely to follow. The fan unrest has finally gotten to the owner. If AJ Smith is shown the door, the likely replacement will be current Chargers Director of Player Personnel Jimmy Raye and John Spanos would become his right hand man.

I usually have backed AJ Smith. Before he came along, we were all watching one of the worst teams in the league. He turned the ship around and became one of the best teams in the league under his watch.

He lost his magic though. He couldn’t make good selections in the draft, he couldn’t hold onto his own players and this season showed that he didn’t know how to sign free agents. His decision to select Norv Turner as the head coach was my biggest frustration with AJ. There were some glory years with AJ, but his latest work has been pretty messy.

If AJ is let go at the end of the season, there will be a market for him. We will have to see what kind of strategy Jimmy Raye has as a general manager though.

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