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Brees Says hes good to go

Postby GreatestShowOnEarth » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:08 pm

Brees says he's healthy and ready to move on

By: JAY PARIS - Staff Writer

Down South, Drew Brees is confident he'll rise again.

Just not with the Chargers.

Brees is likely entering his final 24 hours as a Charger with no progress on securing a long-term contract. So Brees, who is rehabbing his surgically repaired right shoulder in Birmingham, Ala., is set to roll with the tide: the one pulling him from San Diego when free agency starts Friday.


"I'm not trying to break the bank,'' Brees said on Wednesday. "I just want what is fair."

The Chargers' lone six-year proposal included a first-year guarantee substantially less than the $9.7 million Brees would have earned if designated a franchise or transition player. The final five years of the pact were filled with escalators and incentive clauses, something Brees could live with.

It was the 2006 compensation that caused Brees' back to arch.

"It was just not where I felt it should be,'' he said. "It wasn't fair."

He found something else to be foul.

According to Brees, the Chargers are wrongly saying there's more to his shoulder injury, which included the repair of a torn labrum. General manager A.J. Smith said there were issues but declined to expand on his sweeping statement.

"We have medical concerns,'' Smith said. "If you want to zero in on that type of question that you're asking, I suggest that you contact Drew Brees and Tom Condon (Brees' agent). Possibly they can lay it out. I'd rather not participate than to say there are medical concerns that we're monitoring right now continually."

That comment stunned Brees, who is rehabbing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

"There has not been a setback of any kind,'' he said, sternly. "In fact, it seems like every bit of information that comes out of the organization talking about my progress or surgery has been incorrect.

"Talk to anybody that knows, which is my doctor, Dr. (James) Andrews, or my physical therapist that is here doing my stuff. They will tell you exactly where I am, and that is way ahead of the game. The surgery went exceptionally well, and my body has responded very well.

"If the surgery wasn't done properly, would I be four weeks ahead of schedule? I don't think so. I would be having problems right now.''

"I've been rehabbing my butt off, and I'll be throwing by the beginning of May. I will have been throwing for almost three months when training camp opens. The doctors think everything is just fine, and everyone knows that I will be just fine. Rumors are being spread to discredit me or the people working with me to scare other people off. But it doesn't matter; I know what I can do. I invite anyone to come see me work. All those rumors are just false."

The truth is the Chargers could be playoff-bound next season. That's what makes this impending divorce so unsettling for Brees and the teammates calling him.

"All of them are just pretty shocked and trying to understand it," Brees said. "We have a great opportunity, but it seems like that opportunity is kind of slowly being pushed away.''

With so much invested, that pains Brees worse than his throwing shoulder.

"I've been part of something here that not everybody gets to be a part of: of not going to the playoffs in (eight) years and going, and now having a legitimate shot at the title," he said. "Of going through the bad times ---- I've been almost at the lowest of the low ---- and just fighting your way through that. And you feel like you can see that light at the end of the tunnel. But hey, maybe that light is somewhere else."

Like Green Bay, Oakland, Dallas, Baltimore, or the New York Jets.

There's no shortage of teams seeking quarterbacks, especially a 27-year-old with a Pro Bowl resume.

"That's good for me," said Brees, who last year was the NFL's 10th-rated passer after throwing for a career-high 3,576 yards.

Have the Chargers been good to Brees? He admits being "disappointed" by their stance, but understands the business of the NFL. But Brees notes that a player's value can be measured in various ways.

"There's more than the salary number to determine someone's worth, and that is what is kind of lost in this whole process is that maybe the dynamics of a team changes when you lose a guy," said Brees, who is 20-12 including the playoffs the past two years. "It would be unfortunate if that happens here."

If Brees flees, he won't vacate his niche in Chargers lore as the first quarterback since Stan Humphries to lead the team to the playoffs. It's a distinction that doesn't go unnoticed, from Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer to countless Chargers backers. Cloud nine to them is having No. 9 back in the huddle.

"It makes me feel good to have so much support from teammates, fans and coaches," Brees said. "And when I see them, they all wonder the same thing: Why isn't it being take care of?"

Come Friday, the team will likely say "take care'' and remove Brees' name plate from his Chargers Park locker. Appropriately, it's located near the exit.

"Whatever happens will happen," he said. "I've prepared myself to leave, and if that is what I need to do, that is what I'm going to do.

"I know there are plenty of other teams out there that would benefit having me on their team, plenty of places to go and be successful. Sure, I always said I would love to be in San Diego. That is where I've been the last five years and sacrificed so much. It's where I injured my stupid shoulder during a game that didn't mean anything."

If Brees departs, Philip Rivers ---- with zero NFL starts on his resume ---- gets tossed the keys to the revved offense. How does Brees think the student driver will do?

"I like Philip," he said. "I think Philip is going be a very good player because he works hard and is an intelligent guy. Unfortunately, we both feel like we're starters in this league and both of us just happen to be on the same team.

"But obviously, I feel like the Chargers are my team, and it would be a shame if I would be gone.

"But hey, life goes on."

Including the Chargers' future. Just don't expect it to include Brees.



http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/03/02/sports/professional/chargers/15_46_353_1_06.txt[/url]
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Postby no1cowboysfan » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:12 pm

I'm glad this got posted. For everyone thinking Brees might just be being greedy, think again.

Spanos (SD owner) is a tightfisted jerk. Just ask Rivers, Gates, Castillo, Jamal Williams, Brees, LT, etc. and everyone else whose had to scrape tooth and nail to get a good contract out of those cheapskates.
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Postby Wizzle » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:13 pm

no1cowboysfan wrote:I'm glad this got posted. For everyone thinking Brees might just be being greedy, think again.

Spanos (SD owner) is a tightfisted jerk. Just ask Rivers, Gates, Castillo, Jamal Williams, Brees, LT, etc. and everyone else whose had to scrape tooth and nail to get a good contract out of those cheapskates.


Didn't LT get the most lucrative RB deal in history?
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Postby no1cowboysfan » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:17 pm

Wizzle wrote:
no1cowboysfan wrote:I'm glad this got posted. For everyone thinking Brees might just be being greedy, think again.

Spanos (SD owner) is a tightfisted jerk. Just ask Rivers, Gates, Castillo, Jamal Williams, Brees, LT, etc. and everyone else whose had to scrape tooth and nail to get a good contract out of those cheapskates.


Didn't LT get the most lucrative RB deal in history?


yeah, but can you argue he didn't deserve it? Besides, it took him quite a while to land that contract.
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Postby saundman2000 » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:20 pm

They made a mistake letting Brees walk.

The Chargers might be ok with Rivers, but they aren't a contender. They are now a "maybe" contender in a few years "maybe".

Brees is expected to end up on the Dolphins, but wouldn't it be the ultimate revenge if he ended up in Oakland where the Chargers would have to play them twice a year or more?

(Actually, there might not be much revenge going on since the OAK defense still will blow donkey. But the offense sure would look purdy with him at the helm.)
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Postby VaderFin » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:30 pm

Heard today on NFL Radio that Brees is ahead of schedule and has a shot now to participate in mini camps. ;-D
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Postby Wizzle » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:38 pm

Brees says he good to go?

What else is he going to say? :-?
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Postby maddog60 » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:49 pm

And the Chargers take the early lead for bonehead move of the year.

Seriously, they are the only team in their division without a huge cap problem, and have the best QB in their division. Even with the injury, given his recovery so far, this should have been a classic example of a team rewarding a veteran for finally blooming.
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Postby Ydub » Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:54 pm

Gosh, what in the world do you people expect Brees and his agent to say? "Today Drew picked up a pencil, was able to handle it properly, and continued to spell out his name in legible English. Tomorrow he'll try it cursive."

Seriously, this guy is about to hit the open market and he wants to land a big deal with a healthy chunk of guaranteed change. Of course he's "ahead of schedule", of course "the doctors (his doctors) are amazed by his progress, of course he'll be throwing in May (how well and with how much power and accuracy is yet to be determined). Of course he'll be the "same old Drew" (the same one with a 66.1 passer rating against top 10 Defenses the last two seasons). Of course the front office "has it in for him" (they traded the rights to Michael Vick for his services, stuck with him when he was undeniably lousy, and continued to start him over their #4 overall pick (supposedly a guy only the Chargers were in love with). Of course the front office is stocked with "boneheads" (picked up Antonio Gates as a UFA, drafted 2005's DROY (Shawne Merriman), pulled the trigger on a midseason deal for Keenan McCardell, signed the best MLB (Donnie Edwards) in free agency, pulled the coup which landed Brees and Ladanian Tomlinson for a measly Michael Vick). Of course the front office is cheap ( LT is the highest paid RB in the NFL). Of course....
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Postby VaderFin » Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:00 pm

The guy who performed his surgery....Dr. Andrews...performs tons of elite athlete surgeries. He doesn't BS when it comes to their prognocis and has a reputation around the league for being one of if not the best guys to rely on his opinion.
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