Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/28/12

AJ Smith has more in common with William Shakespeare than one might think.  Every minute detail making up this epic 4 month performance, called the NFL off season, is written, edited, and directed by Smith.

The beginning of free agency, or Phase 1 as Smith has dubbed the first act of his play, definitely broke a leg.

Smith and his Front Office team of “stage hands” and “techies” put on a very entertaining opening act.  Just like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Smith hasn’t hesitated in the sacrifice of main characters, such as wide receiver Vincent Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeil.  Smith also did a great job introducing a slew of new main characters, Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal, LeRon McClain, and Jarrett Johnson, for the bigger production that opens in a stadium near you this fall called “the regular season.”  Smith is hoping these cast changes will delay this years curtain call until deep into January and hopefully not until early February.

We are currently in Smith’s Phase 2 which is like intermission of the big play.

Currently most Charger fans, like yourselves, are at the bar enjoying a few drinks while some of the most important work of the off season goes on behind the curtain, hidden from public view.

Smith and his highly skilled FO staff of stage hands are “setting the stage” for the 2nd act to go off without a hitch.  Scouts are doing their work picking the cast based on portfolio’s and auditions from, going to Pro-Days, watching film, and going over the notes the made during the college football season.  Chargers team Cap specialist Ed McGuire is calculating the how much cap room Smith will have to work with to cast his grand production.  Smith, meanwhile,  is on the phone with other GM’s seeing which veterans might become available in trade, which of the Chargers veterans might be on the block, or what the Chargers draft pick at 18 might be worth.

Just like in a real play, almost all of this goes on without any of the audience knowing.  However, when Roger Goodell raises the curtain to start the 2nd act, by announcing the start of the 2012 NFL Draft,  everything will be in place for Phase 3 to go flawlessly.

Phase 3 is the 2nd and final act of the play, the NFL Draft.

This final act will be a 3 day performance in which the Chargers will introduce 8 major new characters in this fall’s production.  It will be the most exciting part of the play for a lot of fans.  Based on Smith’s past productions they will not be disappointed, as there are sure to be plenty of plot twists and trades.

Fans will either appreciate his productions as works of genius or hate his work and think he just uses his personality to hide the fact that he has no idea what he is doing.  Either way, this is sure to be his most entertaining production to date, due to the fact that this could be his final performance as writer and director of the San Diego Charger’s off season.

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