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Approval Rating: A.J. Smith

Last year, we half-heartedly tried to do some of these, but I want to start this offseason by getting a few of these going. First up is Chargers General Manager. I'll try not to give too much of my own opinion because I don't want the votes to be influenced. Although, if you're curious you can always look at peoples' SBN profile page and see how they voted.

A.J. Smith became the Chargers GM in 2003. Since then he's overseen:

  • One losing season
  • One .500 season
  • Six winning seasons
  • Four 10+ win seasons
  • The franchise's winningest season
  • Five playoff appearances
  • A 3-5 postseason record
  • An appearance in an AFC Championship game.

His notable decisions this past year were:

  • Signing Head Coach Norv Turner to a contract extension.
  • Signing TE Antonio Gates to a contract extension.
  • Allowing an extended holdout with Vincent Jackson and losing him for most of the season.
  • Allowing an extended holdout with Marcus McNeill and eventually singing him to a contract extension after missing several games.
  • Allowing a holdout with LB Shawne Merriman and eventually releasing him after another unproductive season.
  • Trading CB Antonio Cromartie for what became a second round pick.
  • Releasing franchise icon RB LaDainian Tomlinson.
  • Trading QB Charlie Whitehurst for multiple draft picks.
  • Trading up in the draft to get RB Ryan Mathews.
  • Selecting the injured, ineffective or eventually released LB Donald Butler, S Darrell Stuckey, DT Cam Thomas, QB Jonathan Crompton and TE Dedric Epps including trading up to get both Butler and Thomas.
  • Placing the franchise tag on RB/KR Darren Sproles.
  • Waiting until the end of season to fire Special Teams Coach Steve Crosby.