Reunion Tour

The Danny Wuerffel experiment lasted just over a week in Houston. The expansion Texans traded Wuerffel to the Redskins for defensive tackle Jerry DeLoach. A second year veteran, DeLoach was on the Washington expansion list last week, and the Texans were prepared to take him, but the Redskins pulled him back when guard Matt Campbell was chosen from their five available players.

The deal reunites the former Heisman Trophy Winner with his former college head coach Steve Spurrier. But, that might be the only former Gator that will be joining Steve Spurrier. He also said his club is "close" to a deal to acquire another onetime University of Florida signalcaller, Shane Matthews.

"It would be very comfortable to have both (Wuerffel and Matthews)," Spurrier said. "It would allow us to coach all the other guys knowing that the quarterbacks know what's going on. Those two guys have been SEC player of the year twice each and they've won six SEC (titles) and a national (title) between them. They know how to win. We hope to have both of them."

The Redskins are without a starter and both veterans from their 2001 roster, Tony Banks and Kent Graham, will become unrestricted free agents on Friday. The only quarterback who is under contract, beyond Wuerffel, is 2001 draft choice Sage Rosenfels.

The price to obtain Matthews from Chicago would likely be a late round draft pick and could be as low a seventh-round choice. Matthews, a two-time SEC Player of the Year in the early 1990s, was 84 -of-129 passing for 694 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions last season.

Matthews preceded Wuerffel as the Gators quarterback and both posted huge numbers in the Spurrier-designed offense.

The Bears would be in a similar position if the team traded Matthews. Henry Burris would then be the only quarterback on the roster.

Negotiations are progressing with Jim Miller a few days before the start of free agency, but if something isn't done quickly the quarterback will go on the free agent market. Meaning the Bears could lose Miller and would be forced to look for at least two new quarterbacks, if Matthews is also traded.

John Shoop would be left without a quarterback that is familiar with his system, which could slow an already struggling offense.

"One of the things that we talked about is we'd be anxious to have our starting quarterback go through the entire off-season," Shoop said. "Jim last year didn't have an off-season (because he was rehabbing a torn Achilles) and really didn't have a training camp either (because of a hamstring injury), but for a practice. If Jim were back he'd throw another 5000 balls to Marty Booker between April and August that makes a difference."

Shoop added that the relationship between a quarterback and his receivers starts during the off-season and Miller would have an advantage in that category over anybody the Bears could bring in.

"He's gone through it (getting to know the wideouts) nobody else that we're going to go get has thrown a 1000 balls to Marty Booker, has thrown a 1000 balls to Marcus Robinson that's a head start. But, in the big picture we have to do what we think is best for our team and I'd sure love for it to be Jim and go from there."

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