Is A.J. Smith safe for the long run?

A U-T San Diego columnist opines that San Diego general manager A.J. Smith is safe in his job through 2014, which is the length of his contract even if the Chargers fail to make the playoffs this year.

Columnist Kevin Acee argues that if the Chargers don’t make the playoff in 2012 he thinks Smith will be given a chance to hire a replacement for Norv Turner.

Acee knows that team well, so I am not going to argue against him. But I do think it behooves everyone on San Diego’s coaching staff and in its front office to do what it can to end the two-year playoff streak now and not there chances in the offseason.

In other AFC West news:

In an Insider piece, Mel Kiper takes a summer look at where each AFC West team stands.

Here are some roundtable fantasy thoughts on San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers.

Here is a roundtable discussion on what Denver receiver, Demaryius Thomas or Eric Decker, is a better fantasy play.

Oakland safety Michael Huff has joined the United Way’s Team NFL to recruit readers, tutors and mentors.

Check this out: The Raiders have a hero in their midst.

Linebacker Brian Banks left San Francisco’s tryout without a contract. He has also tried out for the Chargers and Chiefs. Neither AFC West team is expected to give him a contract at this point.