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Volek returns to Chargers with 3-year deal

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-chargers-volek&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    <img src="http://www.sdhoc.com/main/articles/voiceonsports/Volekaztecs/Image00050106" alt="Billy Volek" align="right" height="189" width="173" />SAN DIEGO (AP)-A free agent for barely more than half a day, Billy Volek was eating lunch with his family at his offseason home in Fresno when his agent called.

    The San Diego Chargers had made a "pretty interesting" offer. Good enough, it turned out, that Volek didn't need to book trips to visit with other teams.

    The backup quarterback agreed to a three-year contract Friday afternoon to remain with the Chargers, whom he helped reach the AFC championship game by scoring the winning touchdown in an upset win at Indianapolis.

    Volek said staying with the Chargers was more important than trying to become a starter with a team that might not have as good a shot as the Chargers do at reaching the Super Bowl.

    "I could have tried to go somewhere else and compete for a starting job or be the guy, but San Diego, it's a great fit for me. San Diego was my first choice," he said.

    "I think this team is looking for even brighter things in the future. Last year we came up a little short. With more hard work, I think we can get to the Super Bowl. This is a hardworking team. There's a good chemistry there. I'm excited to be a part of it."

    Among the teams that had interest, he said, were Buffalo, Chicago and Minnesota. San Diego's proximity to Fresno had a big role in his decision.

    "Being in San Diego with the quarterbacks we have, working with them, pushing each other, I thought the chemistry we had was really good," Volek said. "And Norv Turner, I thought this was my first time working with an offensive-minded coach."

    Volek's return is important for San Diego because starter Philip Rivers is rehabbing from reconstructive surgery on his right knee. Had Volek left, Charlie Whitehurst would have moved up on the depth chart.

    "We're just pretty happy that it all worked out," general manager A.J. Smith said. "You just don't know when people go to the market. It's great to have Billy back in the fold. He's a true pro, is always prepared and also gives us continuity at the quarterback position."

    Smith wasn't surprised the deal came down so fast.

    "It really wasn't that complicated," he said. "We showed interest in him a long time ago. We told him, ‘If you hit the market, check back.' We had a price and told him, ‘If it's acceptable, we'd love to have you back.' It's nice when everybody agrees."

    Financial terms weren't immediately available.

    Volek played only sparingly during the regular season, including throwing an interception in an overtime win at Tennessee on Dec. 9.

    After Rivers hurt his right knee in the divisional playoffs at Indianapolis on Jan. 13, Volek came in and led a 78-yard, eight-play drive which he capped with a 1-yard sneak with 4:50 left to give San Diego a 28-24 win. Rivers returned the following week in San Diego's 21-12 loss at New England.

    Volek was obtained from Tennessee on Sept. 19, 2006, two days after the Chargers beat the Titans 40-7 in San Diego. Volek wanted out of Tennessee because he'd been demoted to third-stringer behind rookie Vince Young after the Titans signed Kerry Collins.

    Volek has played in 30 games and started 10 in eight seasons, with all 10 starts coming with Tennessee. He's appeared in six games with San Diego.

    "There were some teams that wanted to start traveling me and take me out there, but San Diego has been so good to me, all the way from when they traded for me," he said.
     

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