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Chargers to bring safety in for visit

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/03/11/sports/professional/chargers/23_02_533_10_06.txt">North County Times</a>

    By Jay Paris

    <img width="152" height="225" align="left" alt="Marlon McCree" id="image2035" title="Marlon McCree" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/McCree1.jpg" />SAN DIEGO ---- With Chargers quarterback Drew Brees gone, it's time to see what free agents might blow into town.

    Not long after the free-agency market opened Friday night, Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said the team will visit today with Carolina strong safety Marlon McCree.

    "I'm excited about this because it's his first visit and that is very, very encouraging,'' Smith said. "There are no guarantees, but he'll fly in, we'll recruit him and then it comes down to business.''

    McCree's agent, Gary Uberstine, said the Chargers aren't alone in chasing his client.

    "We've had a tremendous amount of interest,'' Uberstine said.

    The 5-foot-11, 202-pound McCree, who can play free and strong safety, led the Panthers with 88 tackles last year. The unrestricted free agent, who is entering his sixth season, started 15 games for Carolina after signing there as a free agent before the year.

    "We love his versatility,'' Smith said.

    Smith said he targeted three other free agents, but has already lost out on one: Saints Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley.

    "He will not be coming in,'' Smith said. "My understanding is he is all set somewhere else.''

    The other two players Smith contacted he declined to name, or their position.

    Last year the Chargers weren't much of a force in the offseason signing frenzy, acquiring only free safety Bhawoh Jue.

    The Chargers are in a position to spend freely, with nearly $25 million under the $102 million salary cap. But Smith doesn't anticipate a dramatic change in his roster.

    Angling for McCree to upgrade the secondary isn't surprising as the Chargers' pass defense continued a disturbing trend with another sour showing last season. The team finished No. 28 against the pass despite a stout pass rush which produced 46 sacks, tied for fifth-most in the NFL.

    The Chargers' patience hasn't been rewarded with the secondary. They burnt first-round picks on cornerbacks Quentin Jammer and Sammy Davis, and neither has distinguished themselves. Drayton Florence, another corner, and safety Terrence Kiel, are second-round selections but have produced mixed results.

    If signed, McCree would supplant either Kiel or Jue.

    In addition to Brees, the Chargers' unrestricted free agents are wide receiver Reche Caldwell, cornerback Jamar Fletcher, tight end Justin Peelle, offensive lineman Bob Hallen, defensive end DeQuincy Scott and linebacker Ben Leber.

    Brees, a Pro Bowler and the NFL's comeback player of the year in 2004, is rebounding from a January shoulder surgery and will receive considerable attention. It's believed the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints are among those inquiring about Brees.

    "We've already got things lined up and we'll be rocking the minute the clock hits midnight,'' Brees said Friday afternoon.

    Brees said Smith was eager to get backup Philip Rivers on the field.

    "Did A.J. draft me? No,'' Brees said from Birmingham, Ala., where he is undergoing his rehabilitation. "Did A.J. draft Philip? Enough said.''

    Smith said it came down to dollars and sense.

    "We just couldn't agree about a price and value and it has just not happened,'' Smith said. "We absolutely wanted him back, but there was a value set by us and a value set by the player and agent and I understand that. It just didn't come together.''

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