The LA Chargers went crazy in the spring of 2022. With the team all-in on Justin Herbert and Brandon Staley, the front office traded for Khalil Mack, re-signed Mike Williams to a huge deal and brought in the best cornerback on the market, JC Jackson.
Chargers fans were ecstatic about this signing and what it could mean for Staley's defense. Unfortunately, the plane never left the tarmac as Jackson's tenure with the Chargers was a major disappointment.
Jackson struggled in his first season with the team, suffering a torn patellar tendon in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks. After returning in 2023, Jackson single-handedly cost the Chargers the game in Week 1, was a healthy scratch in Week 3 and did not play a snap in Week 4.
Now, he is back with the New England Patriots after a trade for late-round draft swaps. Less than two years later and the Jackson signing has been rendered an absolute failure: but where does it stack up compared to other bad moves in Chargers history?
Ranking the 5 worst free-agent signings in Chargers history:
5. WR Robert Meachum (four-year, $25.9 million in 2012)
Chargers fans who remember the 2013 playoff team that limped into the playoffs and somehow beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card Round will remember one of the worst receiving corps that Philip Rivers ever head. Yet the future Hall of Fame quarterback still won Comeback Player of the Year, making every fan wonder what could have been if the team actually had WR depth behind a rookie Keenan Allen.
The team would have had receiver depth if their big splash the year prior would have panned out. The 2012 WR room was even worse for the Chargers as the team was committing to Robert Meachum to play a big role. The Chargers signed him to a four-year deal just under $26 million, which was a lot of NFL money for 2012's standards.
Meachum's contract ended up having more millions of dollars in it than receptions he would have as a Charger. The former Saint lasted just one season with the Bolts and made 14 catches for 207 yards. It is not like he was hurt, either, as he played 15 games for the Bolts that season!
Meachum would return to the Saints in 2013 after he failed to make the Chargers' 53-man roster in training camp.