Rumors in the Brees

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the San Diego Chargers front office has talked up Drew Brees during offseason conditioning and coaching sessions. While the Bolts dismissed the notion of trading Brees during the draft, there is a growing feeling that he is among the few quarterbacks who is more than available.

The initial word that has been filtered through several NFL scouts is that Drew Brees was drawing interest from the New York Giants. How ironic would that be if Brees ended up with the Giants, backing up the quarterback the Chargers selected in the draft and subsequently traded to New York for Philip Rivers and a few picks, including a first rounder next year.

Brees in New York is somewhat laughable. Backing up Eli Manning isn't so funny. Brees would likely be in a good situation in terms of his position on the team but can his fragile psyche handle the media blitz of New York?

The talk is sending a mid-round pick to the Chargers for his services.

Now that Kerry Collins is officially gone, however, the Giants may wait to turn their attention to Kurt Warner.

Another option that is being thrown about further than his arm will take him is Brees going to San Francisco to backup Tim Rattay. The Niners are interested in his services and Brees is deemed to be a perfect fit for the offense. He is viewed as a player that will have a game similar to Jeff Garcia. He is small in stature, has some mobility and will do well in a shorter pass game.

Adding to the potential flair is Curtis Conway joining the Niners and many Charger fans remember the rapport he and Brees had together. Conway moves into an ideal situation in San Francisco and the veteran would certainly love to have Brees back to heal an ailing career.

Brees has defined his disappointment but maintains that he is the starter and will do everything in his power to make sure he is.

"I still feel like this is my team and that I'm the starting quarterback of this team," he said.

The truth he may not want to see, similar to his vision over the offensive and defensive line, is that it is not his choice to make and never has been. At most, Brees would get the first dew starts of the year until Rivers is deemed ready. Unless he is lights out, Brees would be benched in favor of the future. At least he is open to helping out.

"I'm sure we're all going to end up helping one another, we're all going to push one another, but in the end we're all competing against one another for that starting job," Brees said.

The other current rumors in the NFL suggest that with the Raiders signing of Collins, that former Chief Rich Gannon might end up in Tampa Bay so he can reunite with his old coach and mentor Jon Gruden.

If that happens the Buccaneers will release Brad Johnson who would then likely sign with the New York Giants and be the back up to Manning.

The Dallas Cowboys have shown interest but they have cooled on Warner and might make a run Brad Johnson if he does not sign with the Giants; if he's released by Tampa Bay.

It is a twisted web that will sort itself out shortly. While there is talk of trade, the more likely scenario still revolves around Brees sticking around for his last year in San Diego before moving on. The grass isn't greener anywhere else and the market for his services does not appear to be strong. The best deal has passed – sending him to Atlanta for a pick during the draft.

A.J. Smith is content to wait it out and see what the market bears. If it happens, expect it to be swift and completed within the next two weeks. They want to wrap anything up before minicamp on June 11th.

-Denis Savage can be reached at

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