U-T San Diego's Michael Gehlken reported the news of the wideout's release:
The Chargers will pay Robert Meachem millions this season to play somewhere else.
They notified the wide receiver Saturday afternoon they've "let him go," a source said, ending a high-priced union that proved a poor fit for both sides. The cut comes before the second season of a four-year contract that fully guaranteed Meachem $14 million, including a $7.5 million signing bonus and his $5 million base salary this year.
The Chargers, under former general manager A.J. Smith, signed Meachem to a four-year, $25.9 million contract last March, conceivably to replace Vincent Jackson. Instead, they'll take a massive cap hit in order for him to leave.
Per Gehlken, not only will the Bolts pay Meachem his guaranteed $5 million this year (unless he signs somewhere else, in which case they would pay the difference), but this move will also cost them $6.875 million against the 2013 salary cap in dead money.
According to the Associated Press, new general manager Tom Telesco said of Meachem, "It just didn't work out, unfortunately. He's a great kid, a great person. He did everything we asked. It just didn't work out."
Thus ends an extremely painful relationship.
Meachem, who established himself as a dangerous deep threat with blazing straight-line speed during his time with the New Orleans Saints, was supposed to step in as the No. 1 guy in San Diego last fall.
Instead, he caught just 14 balls—which, going by the guaranteed money is his contract, is a little more than $1 million per reception—for 207 yards and two touchdowns.
This offseason, even with Danario Alexander suffering a season-ending injury, Malcom Floyd missing all of the preseason and no San Diego wide receivers really separating themselves from the pack, Meachem wasn't able to ascend the depth chart.
He suffered a concussion on Thursday, according to Gehlken, but even before that, he was being surpassed by seemingly anyone on the roster capable of catching a football:
RT @UTgehlken: With Seyi Ajirotutu out, in comes his replacement. It's Dan DePalma -- not Robert Meachem. >It makes you want to weep.— UTKevinAcee (@UTKevinAcee) August 25, 2013
Former general manager A.J. Smith made several head-scratching roster decisions throughout his tenure, but this one turned out to be just about as bad as could have possibly been imagined.