Meachem, whom the Chargers will pay $5 million this season to play elsewhere, had just 14 receptions for 207 yards in 15 games last season. He was entering the second year of a four-year deal that includes $14 million in guaranteed money.
The Chargers, meanwhile, are still in need of receivers. Danario Alexander was lost for the year with a knee injury, and Malcom Floyd has missed much of the preseason with a knee injury of his own, although he hopes to be ready for Week 1. As it stands, the rest of the depth chart includes Broncos castoff Eddie Royal, rookie Keenan Allen, and Vincent Brown, who missed the 2012 season with an ankle injury.
While new Chargers general manager Tom Telesco isn't responsible for the Meachem signing, the stubbornness of his predecessor, A.J. Smith, has led the organization to this point.
Meacham may have seemed like a bargain a year ago, only costing the Chargers an average of $6.5 million a season, but the team probably could have had Vincent Jackson -- who said previously that he wanted to stay in San Diego -- for $10 million. Smith wouldn't budge, and now the Chargers' offense is without a deep-play threat while also featuring one of the league's worst offensive lines. Quarterback Philip Rivers must be ecstatic.