clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

San Diego Chargers Aren't Elite Anymore, GM A.J. Smith Says

New, comments
Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers were the class of the AFC West the first season Philip Rivers took the reins from Drew Brees and have been...until 2010. The Kansas City Chiefs took the division title and Chargers GM A.J. Smith is a realist and understands that means the Chargers aren't untouchable.

"We're not an elite team; we've lost that. We were second in our division last year and out of it. We have to earn back that status we had. Because it's gone; it really is. I deal in facts, man."

I must say, I appreciate when folks in Smith's position are honest, even if it doesn't sound great.

Speaking to Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Smith noted that there are reasons to think the Chargers will make their way back in 2011. The Chargers are fourth in line for Super Bowl favorites according to some Super Bowl oddsmakers. Smith said that being thought of like that probably means some think they won't suffer as many injuries next year and they won't be so awful on special teams. That, plus Rivers.

But what about Vincent Jackson? One of the reasons the Chargers struggled in 2010 was because Jackson wasn't there. Will he be in San Diego beyond 2011?

"Vincent's a good player and he's always been a good player, which I've said repeatedly," Smith says. "I'm comfortable with not giving him a long-term deal right now and we are not negotiating a long-term deal. We'll see how the year goes, but not at the present time."

It's hard to see how Jackson would return to San Diego willingly because this is now the second year the Chargers have been able to restrict his access to the open market. 

I think the Chargers Super Bowl window is going to be an interesting story line all summer and next year. There are reasons to think the balance of power in the AFC West is changing for the long-term.