“A Differing View of a Bad Situation”
There has been no public explanation of the how’s and why’s of what leaked out over the weekend, about the Chargers giving GM-Tom Telesco a 3-year contract extension.
No one knows where it came from, or how it wound up on the desk of CBS, who first reported it, though you might imagine, an agent representing someone in the Chargers coaching staff, let it out for public consumption.
In 2013, of all the coaching jobs that were open, I felt the Chargers had the best to offer. Remnants of a pretty good team, led by a brilliant quarterback, would be the presents the incoming Coach and GM would receive. Normally when there is a housecleaning in the NFL, the teams resemble 3-Mile Island. Nothing left in the cupboard, no one around. Not so in San Diego as Telesco arrived, and his coach Mike McCoy came on board later.
We find out now, the deal was done as the season was starting round Labor Day. So you can surmise, that a successful off season of acquisitions, plus the return to health of the quarterback, and the contract extension Philip Rivers was completing, all led to a feel good emotion on the 2nd floor of the Fortress.
Think about the rush we had in the off season, as the Chargers went out and spent big money to fill critical holes in free agency. They took offensive guard Orlando Franklin from Denver, picked up ex-Buffalo tackle Chris Hairston, then added Rams tackle Joe Barksdale.
All three had been starters, and Franklin had played pretty well for the Broncos.
Then came the kick returner in Jacoby Jones, who had done well in Baltimore and Houston and you believed the team had solved the woes that had kept them out of the playoffs.
The drafts have had some ups and downs. eventhough his drafts have not had a big impact on the roster yet. The injury issues to Jason Verrett and Mantei Te’o for sure have been setbacks for their development.
But in April you wouldn’t find anyone who would have argued against trading up to go get Melvin Gordon after he had run wild at Wisconisin, and most believed Keenan Allen’s curve would continue to shoot up.
So you can understand why giving out extra years to Telesco might have been acceptable as the season kicked off. Most everyone felt good. The arrow is pointing up.
No one does now. There are still no serious impact players who have been difference makers, either in the drafts or free agency. Injuries have destroyed the roster. Compiling hits and misses in free agency, has led you to believe Telesco has failed more often than he has passed in spending the right money on right players.
As of today, Telesco has apparently burned thru 35M in signing bonuses, and 65M in guaranteed money over three years, to players who have not panned out, from in-house disappointment Donald Butler, to the injured Franklin, to the deposed Derek Cox and Jacoby Jones.
Hindisight is always 20-20, as is second guessing, and now all those accomplishments have brought us cloud cover in the smoke and ash pollution of a (3-9) season.
No one knows, nor cares, how long a GM’s contract is. A coaches deal is public record and so is his leadership ability in the final year of his contract.
The fact Telesco got this public vote of confidence, and the man he is joined at the hip with, Mike McCoy hasn’t, should sound some alarms.
Of course this could have all been avoided by never doing the deal to begin with. Now it’s out, and based on where they are in the standings, you have to ask lots of questions.
What has Telesco done to deserve three more years? And will McCoy take the fall for the the apparent failures of the GM now?
The GM didn’t deserve an extension, the coach definitely does not deserve one either, at this point. All this brings back flashbacks in the AJ Smith era, as the deterioration began, the owner gave contract extensions to the GM and the much disrespected coach Norv Turner.
They didn’t deserve them then, these guys don’t now. A mistake then, probably. A mess now, certainly.
One thing is for certain though, Chargers fans deserve much better than they have been given so far by this regime.