On the Bubble: Royal, Meachem, Clary
8/30/13 – by James Fedewa
With the end of the 2013 preseason, final cuts begin. At this moment, speculation stirs about WHO and WHO DIDN’T GET CUT… Generally, the idea of dropping players who did not prove themselves well is the first step, followed by salary cap cutbacks. Head Coach Mike McCoy claims he pretty much knows what the team will look like, but GM Tom Telesco might have a few surprises up his sleeve. Every NFL team is cutting a lot of talented players to trim their rosters, and this is where the diamonds show up (like the Wes Welker’s & the Norman Hand’s of Chargers past).
Guessing who is on the chopping-block is what fans like to do, plus fans like to play cap-ologist and like to figure out who is worthy of their salary and who’s not. Lets visit the cap-ologist part:
Eddie Royal: did he secure his job? He did not live up to his contract last season as he was plagued by injuries. McCoy does have history with Royal while in Denver, but with the promising play of undersized TE Ladarius Green, he might be the mismatch slot wide receiver San Diego is looking for. Can Green handle backup tight end duty and backup slot duty too? Perhaps, but either way, he needs to be on the field more (as Green’s preseason has looked very good, as a pass catcher). I’d suggest making Keneen Allen starting slot receiver, with Green 2nd inline.
Did WR Robert Meachem open eyes in his second preseason in San Diego with his large salary? No, but he did not play poorly either. Meachem 2013 salary is guaranteed, weather if he is on the team, or not. Telesco should keep Meachem over Royal (and Vincent Brown could be better than both of them). Call losing WR Denario Alexander for the season an “assist” for Meachem’s holiday stint in San Diego. It’s up to Rivers to grant him the trust he lost last season after the Cleveland game, and Meachem will need to rebuild his confidence quickly. He’s a profession and I expect him to be the “Eric Decker” of San Diego’s new offense.
Can Jeromy Clary justify his salary as a Charger? Probably not… He looks very standard as an interior o-lineman, but San Diego does need him (but only at a reduced price). McCoy and Telesco invested in Clary’s new position with reps at right guard this preseason. Now Clary must return the favor (as in pay cut, or get cut). If Clary is cut (or injured), there is not much quality depth behind him. Most likely, Clary’s salary stays…
At the end of the day (or preseason); Royal, Meachem & Clary may all stay in San Diego, but keeping all three may prevent the Chargers in signing other talented cap casualties.