The San Diego Chargers have been through more playoff and "what if" scenarios then any other team in the NFL who has still come short of a Super Bowl ring. However, A.J. Smith is a faithful general manager to this organization. He believes in the talent he brings in, and for the most part, sticks it out with each individual player he takes a chance on.
However, San Diego after last season has some necessary moves to make. After all, the NFL is not just about touchdowns and touchdown celebrations. It's a business. A cruel one at that.
San Diego is a fully equipped roster full of versatile talent that can prevail on any given Sunday. Still, the Chargers will have to, like most teams, send guys home that they may have needed last year, but this year, it's a different story.
Let's take a look at what the Chargers roster should look like prior to the 2011 NFL football season.
Tyrone Carter is set to enter his 12th season in the NFL. Last season with the Chargers, Carter had 12 tackles in seven total games.
Although he knows what it's like to win a championship (two with Pittsburgh), the soon to be 35 year old may be shown the exit door due to San Diego's new additions on defense.
The result of this may mean doing away with Carter before he begins his second season with the team.
Since coming over from the Indianapolis Colts in 2009, Dante Hughes has been a solid role player in the defensive backfield for the San Diego Chargers.
Unfortunately for Hughes, the Chargers since the offseason have made it clear that all positions are going to be difficult to fill. Take the signing of former AP defensive player of the year, Bob Sanders, as a new kind of statement/sheriff in town.
Dante, who's coming off a career high season in tackles (26), is looking to contribute more in his soon to be fifth season in the NFL if not in San Diego, then elsewhere.
It looks like we could have a conflict of interest between the two parties.
Travis Johnson, since arriving in San Diego in 2009, has not won an opportunity to start on defense yet. He's recorded 30 total tackles for the Chargers, but has not been used nearly as much in San Diego as he was in Houston where he started 38 total games from 2005-2008.
Johnson, at 6'3", 311 pounds, has proved he knows how to be a successful run stopper on defense. Anthony Garay just so happened to have a noticeable 32 tackle 5.5 sack season that caught the eye and thus dealt a tough hand in turn to Johnson who's been battling for a starting spot in the rotation on the d-line for two years running.
It could be that second year defensive tackle, Cam Thomas, and third year Ogemdi Nwagbuo get the nod on the depth chart, leaving Johnson looking for work with another team.
Kelley Washington was "Mr. Third-down" when the Chargers needed clutch catches in the second half of last season. Washington had 13 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown in just eight games with San Diego.
Washington, at this stage in his career, is looking for a stable environment. However, he is 31 years old on a roster that's looking to remain as youthful as possible.
If the Spanos brothers want to keep this receiving core a youthful bunch, they wont oblige to any kind of financial investment with the ex-Bengal/Patriot/Raven.
Legedu Naanee has been nothing but a productive slot receiver for the San Diego Chargers since coming to the team five years ago.
Although Naanee had a career season in 2010, he recently violated NFL regulations with an incident back in February in Indianapolis. It's a tough spot for the Chargers who aren't entirely sure how to handle the situation with Naanee. What we do know is that A.J. Smith handles conduct issues in a diligent manner.
Due to "off the field issues" the former Boise State wideout may be playing football in a different uniform by next fall.