The Los Angeles Chargers have already shaken up the wide receiver room just days into training camp.
The Chargers announced that Dylan Cantrell and Fred Vermillion have been waived and two new receivers have been brought in to provide competition at the back end of the roster.
The decision to move on from Cantrell is a bit of a surprise, but after being hobbled during his rookie year with injuries, and it appears this year was heading the same way as a shoulder injury has already slowed him in camp.
Cantrell seemed a likely bet to make the roster this year as the Chargers are thin at wide receiver behind Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin. There is room for a young player to step up and many thought that would be Cantrell, last year’s sixth-round pick.
Vermillion, an undrafted wide receiver out of San Diego State, signed with the team after the initial crop of undrafted free agents inked deals. But he has been dealing with a hamstring injury and the team had apparently already seen enough.
If these players aren’t claimed on waivers, they could go on the Chargers’ injured reserve list.
To replace them on the 90-man roster, the Chargers signed two free agents who were sitting on the market.
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Malachi Dupre, a former seventh-round pick of the Green Bay Packers, has bounced around the league like he was inside a pinball machine. He underachieved in his first training camp with the Packers and was released at the end of that summer. Since then, he has played with four other teams in a short period of time.
In three seasons at LSU in college, he caught 98 passes for over 1,600 yards and had 14 touchdowns.
The team also brought in another well-traveled young player, signing Jordan Smallwood. The former Oklahoma receiver has spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and most recently, the Detroit Lions.
These moves give the receivers not named Allen, Williams or Benjamin (Artavis Scott, Jason Moore, Justice Liggins, Geremy Davis, Andre Patton) much better odds of making this year’s 53-man roster.