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Brees' shoulder raises Chargers' concerns, Feeley's profile

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9232071">CBS Sportsline</a>

    By Clark Judge

    There are conflicting reports out there about the future of San Diego quarterback Drew Brees, but this much you can bank on: The Chargers are so worried about the right shoulder Brees injured in a season-ending loss to Denver that one club official described it as a "serious medical concern."

    I don't know what that means for Brees and his return to San Diego. The guy can become a free agent March 3, and the Chargers earlier this month offered him a long-term contract. But I do have an idea what it means for A.J. Feeley.

    Yes, that A.J. Feeley.

    The Chargers acquired the backup quarterback last year from Miami in a deal that, at the time, seemed to make no sense. They already had a starter in Brees and a backup -- former first-round pick Philip Rivers -- capable of pushing him, so what were they doing adding a third arm?

    We're about to find out.

    League sources indicated the club is in the process of restructuring Feeley's contract so it can keep him, an indication that it views Feeley as a potential backup entering next season. At one time, that was unimaginable -- especially considering Feeley's $3.5 million cap figure for 2006 -- but that was before Brees suffered an injury that has the Chargers checking their options at quarterback. Now the club is taking precautions, and they start with Feeley. No longer is he viewed as a throw-in to a deal that netted the Chargers a sixth-round pick. Now he becomes an experienced backup to Philip Rivers if Brees is exposed to free agency and signs with another club -- albeit a remote possibility.

    He also becomes a backup if Brees is re-signed and unable to reclaim his starting job by the opening of training camp -- a stronger possibility considering the club's concern with his shoulder.

    "It is a concern with them," said someone close to the club, "and it's a big concern."

    General manager A.J. Smith always talks about strengthening his club at key positions, and there is no more key position than quarterback. That the Chargers are talking about re-doing a five-year, $18 million contract of a quarterback who wasn't supposed to figure in the mix for the upcoming season tells you they are uncertain of Brees' future.

    Officials with the team insist the concern with his throwing shoulder is legitimate, though Brees late last month told the San Diego Union-Tribune that his rehabilitation was three weeks ahead of schedule after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum.

    That's not good enough for the Chargers. They won't know what they have in Brees until he's able to throw, and no one is certain when that will occur. In the meantime, the club is moving to protect itself at the position -- which is why you suddenly hear Feeley's name around the team's headquarters.

    At one time, he was considered a starter -- with Miami paying Philadelphia a second-round draft choice for a quarterback who was 4-1 with the Eagles. But Feeley never worked out for the Dolphins, winning three of eight starts in 2004, and was peddled by coach Nick Saban shortly before the trading deadline a year ago.

    At the time, Smith made no predictions about Feeley's future with the club, saying only that "at the end of the year we will decide what we're doing." Apparently, the Chargers just reached their decision.

    The club, meanwhile, must decide where to go with Brees, too. If the Chargers do not reach a settlement on a long-term contract, the team has until Feb. 23 to designate him its franchise or transition player. The club is expected to protect Brees so it doesn't risk losing him without compensation or a chance to match a competing offer.

    Brees was the Chargers' franchise player last year.

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