Robert Meachem to San Diego Chargers: Deal Analysis, Grade and Twitter Reaction

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Robert Meachem to San Diego Chargers: Deal Analysis, Grade and Twitter Reaction
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The San Diego Chargers begun the post-Vincent Jackson era by signing free-agent wide receiver Robert Meachem from the New Orleans Saints.

Meachem and the Chargers have agreed to a four-year deal worth just over $25 million, according to ESPN.com.

While that figure represents a huge saving from the $55 million deal the Tampa Bay Buccaneers paid Jackson, it also represents a drop-off in talent.

Throughout their respective careers, Jackson's seven years in the league and Meachem's five, Jackson has accrued more than double the yards of Meachem while proving himself against opposing teams' best cover cornerbacks.

As a Charger, Jackson has 4,754 yards on 272 receptions for 37 touchdowns in comparison to Meachem, who has 141 receptions for 2,269 yards and 23 touchdowns as a New Orleans Saint.

Undoubtedly, Meachem's production is lower because he wasn't as big a part of the Saints' offense as Jackson was the Chargers, but that is a knock on him more than an excuse for Chargers fans to use in defense of signing him.

In New Orleans, he showed a lot of flashes and was relatively consistent against opposing teams' third- and fourth-best cover cornerbacks, or linebackers and safeties depending on the defense and situation. In San Diego, the Chargers will likely ask Meachem to step into a starting role alongside Malcom Floyd.

Meachem's move to San Diego puts the pressure on Floyd to be the leading receiver for the Chargers now as Vincent Brown mans the slot. The Chargers will have three receivers capable of going deep with Floyd, Brown and Meachem, but nothing comparable to the depth chart with Jackson sitting atop it.

Jackson was a matchup nightmare for defenses who drew coverage his way. Now, without him, the Chargers will only have Antonio Gates, who is at the back-end of his career, to truly scare defenses as Brown and Meachem still need to properly establish themselves in their new roles.

Meachem undoubtedly has talent, but at 27 years of age he is yet to prove himself as a capable NFL starter. In New Orleans, he had the benefit of playing with Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles, but in San Diego he is arguably the most talented receiver.

As such, Meachem will now see more time with the Darrelle Revises or the Antonio Cromarties of this world, as opposed to the Kyle Wilsons.


Twitter reacts

Bleacher Report lead writer Sigmund Bloom:

 "Stevie Johnson deal looks better every hour RT Four-yr deal for Robert Meachem worth $25.9 million. $14 mil fully guaranteed."

Radio host Adam Caplan:

"Other interesting WRs of note: Pierre Garcon and Robert Meachem. Run well, have size. #2 WRs."

Ex-teammate Lance Moore:

"And a huge congratulations to my brother Robert Meachem on signing w the Chargers. Well deserved bruh. We shall miss you. Go ball out!"

Pro Football Focus' Alessandro Misiglio:

"talk about consistency, Robert Meachem has been targeted 61, 62, and 60 times over the past three seasons. Should go way up. "

 

Despite Caplan's belief that Meachem can be a number two receiver, and potentially he can be in the right situation, he doesn't totally fit with the Chargers and won't play to the level required of a starter in San Diego.

The Chargers' offense undoubtedly took a hit with this signing, as such, Meachem at best can only be seen as a B- signing.

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