The San Diego Chargers could be facing a dramatic overhaul after this season. Reports are circulating that A.J. Smith, the Chargers' general manager, and Norv Turner, the head coach, will be fired at the end of the season.
The Chargers are only a few years removed from some of their best seasons but have been on a downward trend the last three seasons. Smith and Turner are associated with some of the team's best days but, more recently, have been linked to several disappointing seasons.
According to a report by U-T San Diego, Turner and Smith will be fired after the 2012 National Football League season. Sources are telling U-T San Diego that the Chargers will be moving on and starting a new era beginning in 2013.
U-T San Diego is saying that Chargers President Dean Spanos made up his mind a month ago to let go of Smith and Turner. Smith, speaking to U-T San Diego, said, “Dean and I have not discussed my job status. We just discuss our players and what we can do to beat our next opponent.”
Spanos issued a statement that, for the time being, any reports are just guesses and speculation and that no decision will be made before the end of the season.
While some Chargers fans may look outside of the organization for a general manager, U-T San Diego believes Jimmy Raye, who has been with the team for 17 years, could be Smith's replacement. Raye is currently director of player personnel.
The Chargers are currently 4-8 and on a four-game losing streak. Before this season, the Chargers were 8-8 in 2011 and 9-7 in 2010. San Diego has not made the NFL playoffs since 2009. Norv Turner took over the head coaching position in 2007 and had immediate success with a team that was built by Smith.
Smith's impressive run as a general manager began with the 2004 NFL Draft. In that draft, Smith managed to trade Eli Manning, selected number one overall, to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers, selected fourth, as well as several other picks that turned out to be kicker Nate Kaeding and the 2005 first-round pick, Shawne Merriman.
Smith continued to draft well, finding great value in Michael Turner, Eric Weddle and Antonio Cromartie. But since 2008, the Chargers have had a difficult time in the draft with only a few standout selections. Ryan Matthews, their 2010 first-round pick, had a 1,000-yard rushing season in 2011 and Jacob Hester has become a useful offensive player.
It is unclear who will take over for Norv Turner, but many are speculating about another NFL coach who may be fired after the season. Andy Reid, the Philadelphia Eagles head coach, is on the hot seat and may lose his job, leading many to speculate that he could take over the Chargers.