|Can Robert Meachem replace Vincent Jackson in San Diego? (Getty Images)|
When wide receiver Vincent Jackson signed with the Buccaneers Tuesday, it left a gaping hole in San Diego's downfield passing game. But general manager A.J. Smith wasted little time in finding quarterback Philip Rivers another deep threat: former Saints wideout Robert Meachem inked a four-year contract late Tuesday the team announced.
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Meachem met with the Bills Tuesday but left Buffalo without signing a contract. Now he'll join an offense that features Rivers, Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd and second-year wideout Vincent Brown.
After Jackson signed with the Bucs but before Meachem inked his deal with the Bolts, the Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee spoke about San Diego's predicament.
"[The move] leaves (the Chargers) looking for a No. 1 receiver," he said during an appearance on NFL Network. "No one thinks that for as talented as he is, Malcom Floyd is a No. 1. And for years, Gates was actually their No. 1 receiver, and while there was promise at the end of last year, you can no longer think that. His biggest fan can no longer think that Antonio Gates is the Chargers' No. 1 receiver. So they are looking for that guy.
"Now, they're interested in Robert Meachem but I do not know who else A.J. Smith has up his sleeve … but if they weren't willing -- and they weren't -- to go much above $10 (million a year) for Jackson, then I don't know if they will even approach that as they replace their No. 1. … They believe so strongly in Philip Rivers, despite what happened last year … they believe this guy can make a really good offense without Vincent Jackson."
It only cost the Chargers an average of $6.5 million a year for Meachem, which seems reasonable. Of course, they probably could've had Jackson -- who said previously that he wanted to stay in San Diego -- for $10 million. Maybe the organization can use the difference to bolster the offensive line and the secondary.
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