Flutie Restructures: Time to Mentor

More clipboard time is in the future for Doug Flutie. Flutie will return to the Chargers next season as he continues to mentor a young Drew Brees. His experience as a shorter quarterback is invaluable to Brees as he progresses in what is his year two of starting. Flutie can pick up the "little" things that will help Brees make better decisions as he throws over taller defensive lines.

It also clears a definite spot in the 2003 NFL Draft. It was thought the Chargers may have been in the market for another QB come the second day of the Draft, but Doug Flutie restructuring has squashed that. Now the team can focus on other areas that need repair.

It was speculated that Flutie would go on to play in the Canada with his brother Darren. Darren plays for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Now it seems Flutie is content to play the role of backup. Backup in the NFL generally means a chance to start at some point during the season. Although that did not happen in 2002, odds are against Brees starting all 16 games of 2003.

He had been scheduled to make $4.5 million in 2003. Now he will have a guaranteed base salary of $655K with a $500K roster bonus next month. An additional $345K bonus will be given to Flutie if he's on the roster when the regular season begins. Should Flutie be on the roster for the regular season, he will make a total of $1.5 million.

Flutie has proved to be a team player during his time in San Diego. He has never complained about his time on the bench or campaigned to start as he did in Buffalo. Instead he has displayed true veteran leadership. That will now carry over to next season. In August of 2002 Flutie backed Brees saying, "I respect Drew's abilities and I'm fulfilled and very secure with how my football career has unfolded. Getting to the Super Bowl, and winning it, is my main goal now."

Flutie has already been a factor in the progress of Seth Burford and got Burford excited about playing in NFL Europe. Burford said this past week, "I talked to Doug about coach Bicknell and he told me he is a very good guy. Doug remembers how much coach Bicknell helped him when he was at Boston College and I hope he can do the same for me. I have spoken to coach Bicknell already and we are looking forward to meeting each other."

The encouragement for these young guys is monument to their eventual success. So much is built on confidence and attitude and at 5-10 Flutie has the air of success floating around him. Now he must continue that role and continue to confide in Drew Brees. His best role is as a player/coach and the returns from that role in 2002 are encouraging.

Add to that the spark role he plays coming off the bench. At 40, Flutie still maintains the elusiveness that earned him the "Flutie Magic" moniker. He is the opposite of Brees in terms of mobility. That pocket awareness is tough to teach, but Flutie will try and pass it on in terms of what he sees on the field and the different looks that accompany the "feel" in the pocket.

Flutie restructuring puts the Chargers just under the cap. More moves are on the horizon in the next few weeks but the ball has finally started to roll.

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