Three former Chargers wide receivers have signed (Buster Davis and Legedu Naanee) or are very close to signing (Malcom Floyd) with other NFL teams with San Diego connections today. All three are off the San Diego roster this year because of their inability to stay healthy in 2010, paired with some other factors.
Buster Davis showed first round potential in flashes, but couldn't put together a healthy season in his last three campaigns. Since 2008 he's played in only 12 games (7 last year). Buster was slated to make $840k this season, and was cut at the end of the lockout. Today, Davis signed a one year deal (probably veteran minimum) with the Buffalo Bills. Joining the Bills reunites him with with Buddy Nix (who was Assistant GM in San Diego when Buster was drafted, and is now GM of the Bills), and Shawne Merriman. According to the SBN Buffalo Bills affiliate, Buffalo Rumblings, Buster doesn't quite have a roster spot snapped up yet and will have to prove something in camp.
Davis is entering his fifth year out of LSU, but has competed in just 26 games and hauled in just 51 receptions to this point in his career. He joins a loaded Bills receiving corps that is already set through its top four players, and he'll compete for a roster spot at the bottom of the depth chart. He has an uphill climb to make the roster, but there is undoubtedly untapped potential here.
Legedu Naanee played in only 10 games in 2010 due to injury, and sealed his borderline fate with AJ Smith when he drunkenly played the "Do you know who I am?" card during the off season. The Chargers chose part ways with Legedu in free agency. Today, Naanee hooked up with (former Chargers offensive assistant and current Panthers Offensive Coordinator) Rob Chudzinski and (former Chargers Defensive Coordinator and current Panthers Head Coach) Ron Rivera for one year. Naanee may wind up serving a Takeo Spikes coach-on-the-field role for Chudzinski, and will likely stick as their third WR.
Malcom Floyd started last year as the Chargers' #1 WR due to the holdout of Vincent Jackson. He put up decent numbers but only played in 11 games in 2010. The reason he is not likely to return to San Diego is that he wants more money than AJ Smith is willing to pay, possibly even #1 WR money. The rumor mill has Malcom reuniting with previous San Diego Offensive Coordinator, Cam Cameron in Baltimore.
@sdutChargers: RT @AdamSchefter: Braylon Edwards & SF 49ers reach agreement on 1-year, $3.5 million deal >Malcom Floyd implications. Edwards had to go 1st. #
@NCTchargers: Becoming ever-more likely that Malcom Floyd will end up in Baltimore. Maybe as early as Friday. #Chargers #malcomwithoneL #
It sounds like Floyd will get something near his 2010 1st and 3rd tender salary, in the neighborhood of $3 million. I've heard on the radio that he's looking for multiple years, and read rumors on Baltimore Beatdown that the Ravens are trying to renegotiate the contract of Haloti Ngata to fit Floyd in.
I find it fascinating that all three of these guys combined 2010 injuries with other circumstances to result in AJ's disinterest. Injuries alone won't get you booted if you're cheap and keep your nose clean (see Patrick Crayton). You can also have a bad attitude and DUI chargers, but if you're elite and relatively injury free (see Vincent Jackson) you get to stay in San Diego too. For me, this is one more bit of proof that AJ acts logically according to relatively pre-defined criteria, as opposed being to a raging ego maniac. It's also fascinating because the Chargers are doing the same thing these WR's are doing; we're talking about signing a WR because of a connection to Phillip Rivers and signed a LB because of his connection to our new Offensive Coordinator. Networking really matters in the NFL!