Royal leaves Broncos for rival Chargers

BERNIE WILSON AP Sports Writer Published:

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Wide receiver-punt returner Eddie Royal joined the San Diego Chargers on Thursday after burning them a few times while with the division rival Denver Broncos.

Royal agreed to a three-year deal with the Bolts two days after San Diego agreed with Robert Meachem. The Chargers lost top wideout Vincent Jackson to Tampa Bay in the opening hours of free agency on Tuesday.

In September 2008, after referee Ed Hochuli's infamous blown call in Denver, the rookie Royal caught a fourth-down touchdown pass from Jay Cutler and then ran the same route to catch the winning 2-point conversion.

In 2009, Royal returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in a 34-23 Monday night victory at San Diego.

Royal has averaged 11.9 yards per punt return for his career, third in the NFL in that span behind Julian Edelman and Devin Hester.

Malcom Floyd and Meachem are the projected starting wideouts for the Chargers, with Royal and second-year pro Vincent Brown in the mix.