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Chargers deal quarterback Rivers to San Francisco
The San Diego Tribune
April 1, 2005

San Diego, Ca - The number one pick is no longer the concern of the San Francisco 49ers. In a draft that had many experts believing that the 49ers would keep their pick due to a lack of willing trade partners, late Thursday night saw both sides agree on a deal. The trade will send the No. 1 and No. 65 pick, as well as an undisclosed option, to San Diego in return for second-year quarterback Philip Rivers. The deal will be officially announced at a press conference on Saturday afternoon.

Despite denials from both organizations on Tuesday, trade talks have been in the works since San Diego officials approached San Francisco on Monday morning regarding the deal. Previously, the 49ers sent out feelers for a possible trade around March 10th, the date that San Diego paid Rivers a roster bonus.

The swap seemed perfect for both sides, since San Diego had a quarterback situation brewing that could have presented several problems in the future. The 49ers needed a franchise quarterback, and despite coach Nolanís high praise toward Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith, it seemed from the beginning that neither of the two top quarterback prospects in this yearís draft really looked the part. Rivers, despite some questions regarding his mechanics, was rated higher than Rodgers or Smith and already has a year of experience.

"The deal made sense for us," said San Diego General Manager A.J. Smith. "We needed to do something about our glut at the quarterback position and the 49ers needed a quarterback. It made sense."

The San Francisco 49ers could not be reached for comment.

Although both teams benefit immensely from the deal, arguably the biggest deal this offseason, it almost never got off the ground. There were some concerns on the Chargersí part regarding the hit this deal would take on their salary cap. The 49ers will be responsible for Riversí base salary over the next two years. However, the Chargers will absorb the option portion of Riversí 2004 signing bonus that was paid out on March 10th. This will make it more difficult to sign the No. 1 pick overall.

This will end the debate regarding the Chargersí starter for the 2005 season. Drew Brees will be their guy under center. After a sub-par year in 2003, Brees had a phenomenal 2004 campaign, leading the Chargers to the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards is a likely candidate to be chosen with the No. 1 pick. His addition would add another valuable target for quarterback Drew Brees.

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