December 30, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal (11) runs after a reception during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Should Chargers Keep Eddie Royal as the Punt/Kick Returner?

I definitely believe that Eddie Royal will be released for some cap relief soon, but there still are reasons to keep him around. We may need some insurance at the position, but we also need a good punt/kick returner on the roster.

The wide receiver slots are pretty much sealed with Danario Alexander, Malcom Floyd, Vincent Brown, Keenan Allen and Robert Meachem taking the top 5 spots. The only way the Chargers keep another receiver is if someone goes down with an injury or if he is a return specialist.

Eddie Royal fits the role. So does Richard Goodman, but Goodman is mainly a kick returner and doesn’t touch punts. Royal has to have to edge in that battle.

The roster doesn’t have a lot of players with experience returning punts. Eric Weddle always can be used in a pinch, but he scares me any time he goes back there to return. He has put a few balls on the dirt, plus we don’t need him taking a few extra hits.

Dan DePalma will probably get a shot at the return duties. Keenan Allen could be used in that role also.

If the Chargers do end up cutting Royal, then they could go pick up utility receiver Micheal Spurlock again. He can be used all over the place on special teams and has proven to be a solid target for Philip Rivers when called upon.

Eddie Royal was hyped up last offseason as the best slot receiver that Philip has ever had. He never was able to make the impact we had hoped for. He barely could get onto the field. Seems to be the story of Eddie Royal’s career.

Royal worked with Mike McCoy in Denver and McCoy might want to keep Royal around. So if we keep Royal around, who gets canned? I guess we don’t need depth at corner after all.

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Tags: Eddie Royal San Diego Chargers

  • Cgoodness13

    If Allen does a good job, cut royal and goodman. I’m pretty sure woodhead could do it also.

    • Peter Thompson

      Remember, Allen is rehabbing a bad knee. Is he ready to come right out and return kicks, and is that wise?

      • Ernie Padaon

        True… Forgot about that too…

      • Nick in PB

        Agree… that was the first thing I thought of!

  • tubbs45

    Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full…

  • Peter Thompson

    Spurlock did great in preseason last year, and I didn’t want them to cut him. But, good ole’ “can’t see past the tip of my nose” AJ didn’t see things the same way. Then, we get him back, and he runs two kicks back to the house! I think he’s earned his Bolts, personally.

    Royal? I THINK he could still be good, but we just can’t afford to wait another year to find out. I say cut him.

    • shayaaa

      Bummed to see we didn’t keep him around. He always seemed to do well… Game vs PIT where he had 7, 3rd down receptions all for 1st.. looked like he had a good connection with PR, did everything Royal was supposed to do; just at a fraction of the cost.

      • MC Boltman

        Yeh, that was awesome…couldn´t understand it either why they did not bring Spurlock back onto the roster…well but in the end I trust our new Chargers brass…

    • Nick in PB

      Spurlock performed well when he was hear. I didn’t get why we let him go? He proved he could be a slot receiver and handle return duties… I never got that one?

      • Peter Thompson

        Me either. It’s not like he’s expensive, or injury prone.

      • Brian Smith

        I agree with this, i was thinking all what you guys have said as i read the article.

        So why do we all think they didn’t bring back Spurlock,? He seems to be a slightly better cheaper Royal.

  • boltingindiego

    for pr/ kr i want spurlock at those 2 positions.

    • Ernie Padaon

      honestly… wouldn’t mind having spurlock, for pure potential… think Royal has the higher ceiling

      • Nick in PB

        That’s the reason Ernie! Everyone is waiting for him to repeat his rookie season. Maybe he can… who knows. I do know that Spurlock had at least earned his keep!

        • Ernie Padaon

          Spurlock still is available… Still a possibility

  • Rob Base

    He has competition with Woodhead, DePalma, Goodman, Butler, Allen and Hill. I say sorry Royal no bueno dude!

  • blackroseMD1

    Honestly, if we’re going to transition to a short passing game, I’d rather have Royal than Meachem in the WR corps.

    That said…he’s a bit expensive to be kept around as strictly a PR/KR.

    • Ernie Padaon

      I absolutely agree with that… Sadly, Meachem has to stay because of his contract

  • Alter Ego

    He is a Hokie…doesn’t seem to translate to the NFL well. Thought last year was his big audition to return to rookie promise and form. He can’t stay healthy…I would rather see Steve Williams run ‘em back.

  • sdreal

    When Royal was healthy, particularly at the end of the year, he was productive. I think he breaks out this year. McCoy knows how to use his team’s strengths and he won’t neglect a talent like Royal. One of the few things our brave captain is specific disclosing to the media is his desire to increase RIvers’ completion percentage. The only way to do that is with the short passing game. I think a guy like Royal, that is quicker and smoother than his is fast, excels in that role. We all know the Chargers could never cover him, even back when we actually had a pass rush.

  • djkhford

    I would keep Spurlock over Goodman anytime. What do they see in Goodman is beyond me. He had a great game when put into the slot against Pit. So what do we do, put him back on the bench. Makes no sense.

  • OP Bolt

    If Royal can’t break into the starting 6 WRs, its hard to believe one of the new RBs, WRs, or DBs would not be able step up and use PR and/or KR as their opportunity to make the team, and provide justification for letting Royal go.I’m not sure about Spurlock. In any case, a rock solid PR (that is, no errors) will be worth the money. Turnovers on PRs are back breakers. As you implied KR is a less stressful scenario and Goodman or one of the new guys should be able to handle those duties.