Brunell and the Bolts

Normally, breaking news such as the Washington Redskins closing in on a deal to acquire Jaguars' Quarterback Mark Brunell, would garner little attention in the land of Chargerville. Not in this case. The San Diego Chargers, reportedly, are one of a handful of teams to show an interest in the 33 year old lefty. Is this an act of desperation?

It goes like this: The Redskins' have all but finalized a deal that will land them Mark Brunell in a trade. The deal would not be official until March 4th, which leaves a window for other teams to possibly steal him from the Skins'. The Chargers are one of the teams, reportedly, to contact the Jaguars regarding his services, with a second round pick the rumored compensation. Of the teams competing for his services, none possess a higher second round pick than the Chargers.

Brunell will meet with Joe Gibbs on Monday, which makes the Skins' the early frontrunner. But it should be noted that the Skins' second round pick is the 41st overall- while the Chargers second round pick is the 35th overall. If it comes down to a bidding war the Chargers may have the edge.

Brunell has stated that he wants to start. In San Diego, he would have only the surmountable obstacle of Drew Brees in his way. In Washington, he may have a battle on his hands. The young Patrick Ramsey has pure talent to go with the respect of his teammates; which makes this move a bit of a head-scratcher for the Redskins. After all, we are talking about a second round pick in a draft that can land you the likes of Darnell Dockett, Lee Evans, or possibly Rashaun Woods.

At 33 years old, Brunell is not as mobile as he used to be. A second round pick is a steep price to pay for a guy coming off a recent injury to is throwing elbow. In his defense, Brunell is now healthy and probably has a few good years left in him, but the Chargers would be paying that steep price out of desperation.

Last season was AJ Smith and Marty Schottenheimer's first as a GM and head coaching tandem. The results were disastrous. AJ's "push year" blew up in his face and Marty's disposal of veteran defenders blew up in his. The Chargers were 4-12 and now possess the first pick in the draft; not exactly winning points with the organization. The pressure is on. Will that pressure lead to irrational decisions such as giving up a second round pick in a loaded draft, to acquire an aging quarterback whose best years are behind him? Let's hope not.

This is no knock on Brunell, it's not far-fetched that he could come in and spark the Chargers passing game. This is about where the Chargers are as a football team, or better yet, where they are not. The Chargers are not a veteran quarterback away from the Super Bowl. They have plenty of needs: Offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, kicker, and wide receiver highlight the list. Mark Brunell would be a great pick up for the Bolts, but not at the expense of a player that may anchor the offensive or defensive line for years to come. Darnell Dockett and Jacob Rogers are just two of the projected second rounders that fit the bill.

If the Chargers are able to trade down from the #1 overall pick and acquire multiple picks in this years draft, the potential acquisition of Brunell changes from desperate to intriguing. The mere mention of the Chargers seeking Brunell prompts the curiosity of how the Chargers will approach this offseason. So far it says they will seek a veteran quarterback, if not Brunell, perhaps another.

Will Mortensen can be reached at

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