- Aug 18, 2005
The assumption, ever since it became apparent last year that Drew Brees was indeed a capable starting quarterback, is that after the 2005 season the Chargers would need to jettison him or Philip Rivers.
The pervading thought is that the Chargers cannot afford to keep two quarterbacks of that stature.
But that isn't necessarily true.
The big money in Rivers' contract has already been awarded. His future salaries are relatively small and well within the Chargers' means.
In fact, a worst-case scenario has Brees and Rivers together counting about $15 million against the salary cap in 2006. That is a lot of money to commit to one position, but the Chargers sit well under the cap and are capable of carrying that load.
And the scenario assumes the Chargers franchise Brees again, which means his entire $9.6 million (approximate) salary would count against the cap. Rivers, the No. 4 pick in the 2004 draft, has a cap value of $5.165 million in 2006. His cap number drops significantly for 2007 and beyond.
Should the Chargers give Brees the long-term deal he desires, his cap value the first year would be relatively small because of deferred bonuses. Then, keeping both quarterbacks would be even more plausible.
"We don't have to do anything," General Manager A.J. Smith said.
Brees' performance so far this season suggests he will not be losing his job for anything other than injury. But the possibility of an injury hovers over every NFL quarterback.
"I like having two (quarterbacks as) injury protection," Smith said.
Smith is on record saying Rivers will not be traded this season.
That's fine with Rivers.
"I'm excited about this team," Rivers said this week. "I pull for Drew. This is Drew's team. But I feel what I'm doing now is preparing myself to be ready for a.) this year, if I get thrown in there, and b.) next year."
Guard Toniu Fonoti missed practice yesterday and will miss his second straight game Sunday against the New England Patriots. There remains the possibility he could miss a few more games to treat his surgically repaired right hand.
Nuts 'n' Bolts
Linebacker Steve Foley (abdominal muscle) and cornerback Quentin Jammer (quad) missed practice and are listed as questionable. But coach Marty Schottenheimer expects they will play against the Patriots.