The Chargers lost Vincent Jackson in free agency Tuesday but tried to make up for it by signing Robert Meachem. San Diego is paying Meachem $14 million guaranteed on a four-year $25.9 million deal. Vincent Jackson signed a five-year $55 million deal with the Buccaneers and $26 million is guaranteed. I have to say, I don’t like either deal very much.
Both players’ stats were inflated by their systems and quarterbacks. While Jackson will give Tampa Bay a weapon in the passing game, he is just a luxury for a team with many more pressing needs. The Bucs need an improved line, running game, and the biggest area they need to address is their defense. I thought Jackson benefited from Norv Turner’s system, the amount of threats in the Chargers’ passing game, and Philip Rivers’ accuracy/ability to throw the deep ball. I envision his stats dropping off with Tampa Bay.
Similarly, Robert Meachem was a system player in New Orleans. The Saints run 3-5 receivers per passing play and Drew Brees is an expert at finding the open man. Meachem racked up plenty of touchdowns in New Orleans (20 the past three seasons) mostly because he was a forgotten third or fourth option on the field. He didn’t have to beat one-on-one coverage or double-teams consistently. San Diego is paying and asking him to be their No. 1 receiver, and I don’t believe he is one.
I would have preferred to see Jackson sign elsewhere, and for the Chargers to have gone after a better receiving option.