The 2013 Chargers roster is set. At least, as of 2:35 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday, August 31, it is. The Bolts made 11 more roster cuts to get down to the NFL-mandated 53-player limit. The full list looks like this:
Nick Becton, T
Frank Beltre, OLB
Ben Cotton, TE
Marcus Cromartie, CB
Logan Harrell, DE
Michael Hill, RB
Josh Johnson, CB
Thomas Keiser, LB
Robert Meachem, WR
David Molk, C
David Rolf, TE
You will notice wide receiver Robert Meachem on that list. Meachem was the source of great debate during training camp. After signing a big free agent contract in 2012, the former Saints big-play threat caught just 14 passes for the Chargers.
He was relegated to working mostly with the 2nd and 3rd team offense under new head coach Mike McCoy. However, since a large portion of his contract was guaranteed, it would hurt the franchise financially to release him. Meachem will be paid $5 million this year, and count nearly $7 million against the salary cap. He'll also take up space against next year's cap.
It's a bold move by the organization, one that, frankly, I don't think they would have made in the past. With this one move, new general manager Tom Telesco and McCoy have shown they are, indeed, searching for "the best 53 guys" regardless of finances.
As for the rest of the cuts list, there are not giant surprises, and many of the players could very well end up on the Chargers' 8-man practice squad.
“I thanked all of the players for giving us their 100% effort and dedication,” said McCoy. “They all worked extremely hard and gave us everything they had. Days like this are never easy. I have been in their shoes. I was cut five times by five different teams. I feel for these men and wish them the best of luck.”
The Chargers extended their streak of having an undrafted rookie free agent make the opening day roster to 16 years. They're actually keeping three undrafted rookies, safety Jaleel Addae, defensive end Brandon Moore and defensive tackle Kwame Geathers.
As the rest of the league trims rosters, the Chargers will be looking at potentially adding more veteran players, which would mean more cuts to the current "final" group.