Looks like we are keeping both Rivers and Brees next year.
In a conference call with San Diego media Wednesday, Chargers quarterback Drew Brees expressed his desire to reach a long-term contract with the Bolts and acknowledged that the team had contacted him about attempting to reach such an agreement.
“They’ve told me that they want to pursue me long term,” Brees said. “I know that’s something for the next few months that everybody is going to be working on. As far as what’s gone on to this point, it’s really not much. I think we’re in the very beginning stages here. I know they want me there long term and I want to be there long term.”
According to General Manager A.J. Smith, the Chargers plan to begin discussions with Brees on a long-term contract in the coming weeks.
Last Wednesday, one day prior to the operation Brees underwent to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, Smith contacted the 26-year-old quarterback in attempt to ease his mind before the surgery.
“I told him going into surgery that we were going to try to get a long-term deal,” Smith said. “I told him not to worry about it during rehab. My main concern is for him to get healthy, come back and help the San Diego Chargers win a championship.”
Chargers Vice President of Football Operations Ed McGuire plans to begin working on a contract with Brees’ representative Tom Condon in early February. Should the two sides be unable to reach an agreement, the team will then explore their options. The Chargers still have the ability to place either the franchise or transition tag on Brees.
“We will begin the process and hope for the best,” Smith said.
A Franchise Player is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position as of April 15, or 120% of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. A Franchise Player can negotiate with other clubs and sign an offer sheet that his old club can match or receive two first-round draft choices if it decides not to match.
A transition player must be offered a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of last season at the player’s position or 120% of the player’s previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. A transition player designation gives the club a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another club after his contract expires. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no compensation.
The Chargers used the franchise designation on Brees in 2005 and have the opportunity to do so again.
Regardless of what happens with Brees’ contract, Smith said that the team has no plans to part with 2005 backup quarterback Philip Rivers.
“Philip is not going to be traded,” Smith said. “He is a Charger and will remain one.”