Despite getting a lot of heat earlier in the season for the firing of Marty Schottenheimer and the hiring of Norv Turner, the Chargers have handed current GM A.J. Smith a five-year extension. ESPN is reporting the deal worth $11 million, and that the $2.2 million average would make him 3rd on the list of highest paid GM’s, only trailing Bill Parcells and Matt Millen. The 58-year-old has been the teams GM since 2003.
The team has done well with Smith as a GM, but has failed overall to do what Chargers fans are drooling for – win a playoff game. They seemed poised to do that last season when they went 14-2 and had homefield for the playoffs, but instead folded and lost late to the Patriots in the teams first and only playoff game. Two seasons before that they also won the AFC West, but lost in the first round of the playoffs in a wild card game to the Jets.
Smith has undergone a lot of ridclue and heat for running Schottenheimer out of town and brining in Turner, who started the season 1-3 and it looked like the team would be lost. But give Turner and the coaching staff credit, as the team has turned it around, and it looks as if with their current six-game winning streak the heat that was on both Smith and Turner is off.
Of course if they lay an egg on Sunday vs the Titans, you can bet that there will be major heat back on both. Bottom line, Smith had better hope that in the end the hiring of Turner was right. If not, this five-year deal may very well be cut short.