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Brees, Chargers confirm desire to make long-term deal

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2288855" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/Brees_Drew.jpg" class="right" alt="Drew Brees" />SAN DIEGO -- Drew Brees let the secret slip -- the San Diego Chargers would like to sign him to a long-term deal.

    Brees was discussing his shoulder surgery and rehab during a conference call with San Diego reporters on Wednesday when he was asked if the team had told him anything about his future.

    "They want to pursue me long-term," Brees said from Birmingham, Ala. "I know that's something that for the next few months everybody's going to be working on. As far as what's going on up to this point, it's not much, just the very beginning stages. I know they want me long-term and I want to be here long-term."

    General manager A.J. Smith, who's always tightlipped about player transactions, at first refused to confirm that he or anyone else from the front office told Brees that.

    "We don't have any comment on our business until we're complete with our business," Smith told The Associated Press.

    Brees' agent, Tom Condon, said he hadn't heard from the Chargers.

    "I know that Drew told me that, but I've had no conversations with the Chargers," Condon said.

    A few hours later, Smith called reporters back to confirm what Brees said.

    "We are going to try to long-term him," Smith said. "We originally wanted to do this in early February, but I guess Drew was just answering the question honestly."

    Smith said he called Brees last Wednesday, a day before the quarterback had his torn right labrum repaired by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham.

    "I just felt it was the perfect time to rest his mind that we were going to try to get a long-term deal done, and for him not to worry about it," Smith said. "I told him to just rehab, get better and lead us to a championship. And he said, 'Fine.'"

    Brees played last season under a one-year, $8 million contract as the team's "franchise" player.

    Smith stressed that the two sides must still negotiate a deal.

    If the Chargers and Condon haven't agreed to a contract by Feb. 23 -- well before the quarterback is throwing again -- the Chargers can retain Brees' rights by using the franchise tag again or make him the transition player.

    As the franchise player, Brees would get a one-year deal that would pay him the average of the five highest-paid quarterbacks, or just less than $10 million. If he's the transition player, he'd be paid the average of the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks.

    The Chargers and Brees could continue to negotiate a long-term deal even if the team makes him the franchise or transition player.

    "I would assume it would be pretty soon, obviously, because they probably want to get it done as soon as possible," Brees said. "With free agency coming up in March, the franchise-tag deadline in late February, I'm sure that that's something that's probably a big priority."

    Condon also represents star running back LaDainian Tomlinson and coach Marty Schottenheimer, increasing the chances a deal would get done before the Feb. 23 deadline. If not, though, Brees could also negotiate with other teams. However, the Chargers could match any offers he received.

    The Chargers gave Tomlinson a deal worth approximately $60 million in August 2004, making him the NFL's highest-paid running back.

    Backup quarterback Philip Rivers has pocketed more than $14.25 million while playing sparingly the last two seasons. He still has four years left on his contract, which is potentially worth $40.5 million. The Chargers have said that they will have enough room under the salary cap to carry Brees and Rivers again next year.

    Brees was hurt in a home loss to the Denver Broncos on Dec. 31 when he tried to recover his fumble and Broncos tackle Gerard Warren landed on him. He tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder, which was dislocated.

    Brees will remain in Birmingham for the next few weeks.

    He originally anticipated a four-month rehab, which would have had him ready for mini-camp. Now he hopes to be ready by the start of training camp in late July.

    "Even when you come back throwing, it's a long process just to get your arm to where you have the endurance, and you gradually work from throwing 5 yards to 10 yards," Brees said. "Even once I start throwing, it's still probably two more months or so before I start throwing routes, deep passes and all that stuff, but it's a process.

    "I'd love to be throwing in May, and we'll see how this whole thing goes. But really, the most important thing for me is to be ready by training camp," he said.

    The Chargers (9-7) missed the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons.

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