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San Diego Chargers most successful GM retires from the NFL

aj smithA.J. Smith is a very solid football mind, but today he called it quits in the NFL.  Smith is the winningest GM in Chargers history, with 98 wins over 10 seasons, according to NFL.com. Smith presided over the 2004 draft-day trade that sent Eli Manning to the Giants and prompted Philip Rivers’ arrival. He infamously fired Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season and quick playoff exit. Smith talked with U-T San Diego today and he wanted to thank everyone for the fun ride.

“We had a family discussion and an actual voting process. It was unanimous!” Smith wrote in an e-mail to U-T San Diego. ” … We have experienced incredible highs and lows in our 38-year ride. At the age of 66, it’s time for me to enjoy my family and friends more than ever before. I will now get going on my long-awaited bucket list.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the National Football League,” he added. “I will always cherish my time in the NFL and the friendships that developed over those many years. Looking forward to spending lots of time in Del Mar, Rhode Island and parts unknown.”

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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