A.J. Smith, former Chargers general manager, dies at 75

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — A.J. Smith, a longtime NFL executive and former general manager of the then-San Diego Chargers, has died. He was 75 years old.

The announcement came Sunday in a statement from his son and Atlanta Falcons’ assistant general manager, Kyle Smith, according to the Associated Press.

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In a post by the now-Los Angeles Chargers on X, formerly Twitter, the team’s current owner and chairman of the board Dean Spanos said, “The architect of one of the greatest chapters in franchise history, A.J. made everyone around him better with a singular focus and intensity that elevated our organization. Our hearts are with his wife Sue, son Kyle, daughter Andrea and the entire Smith family during this difficult time.”

Smith worked with the NFL for 35 years, starting as a part-time scout in 1977. After serving as pro personnel director for the San Diego Chargers in 1985, he went on to spend 14 seasons with the Buffalo Bills before returning to San Diego as the assistant general manager in 2001. He was promoted to the Chargers’ general manager in 2003, according to the NFL.

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