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Chargers cut WR James Jones, waive QB Zach Mettenberger in cut down to 75

QB Zach Mettenberger was supposed to fight for the No. 2 spot behind Philip Rivers, but he was beat out by Kellen Clemens and Mike Bercovici. Photo by Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers released 12 players and placed three others on reserve on Monday and Tuesday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 75 players. Here’s a closer look at the first cuts:

Most significant move: James Jones was signed a month ago to replace Stevie Johnson, who was lost for the year after suffering a meniscus tear in his right knee that required surgery. Jones, 32, was slated to be the team’s fifth receiver. However, Jones played in a West Coast offense his entire NFL career and had trouble transitioning to offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt’s scheme. Couple that with the fact that Jones did not play on special teams, and the Chargers decided to go with other options at the back end of the roster like Isaiah Burse.

Bolts move on from Zach Mettenberger: The backup quarterback competition between Mettenberger and Kellen Clemens never materialized. Undrafted rookie Mike Bercovici outplayed Mettenberger in training camp for the No. 3 QB job, paving the way for the Chargers to move on from the 25-year-old Mettenberger.

Chargers get roster exemption for Bosa: With Joey Bosa signing his contract on Monday, the Chargers received a roster exemption for the rookie defensive end, meaning San Diego can carry 76 players. Bosa is not expected to play against the San Francisco 49ers in the team’s final preseason game on Thursday.

Monitoring the waiver wire: In need of depth at defensive line, running back and defensive back, the Chargers’ personnel department will be closely monitoring the waiver wire during final roster cuts this weekend. San Diego should be able to take advantage of the team’s No. 3 claiming spot in the NFL.

Chargers moves: WR Torrence Allen, CB Greg Ducre, CB Mike Lee, DT Bruce Gaston, LB Zack Hodges, WR James Jones, QB Zach Mettenberger and C Bruce Johnson were waived. WR Javontee Herndon, DT Zamir Carlis, OT Tyler Johnstone, RB Dreamius Smith were waived/injured. RB Branden Oliver (Achilles) and OG Donavon Clark (knee) were placed on injured reserve. C Chris Watt was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.