Chargers lose familiarity with Whitehurst, gain experience with Clemens

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Yesterday, Charlie Whitehurst’s tenure as a San Diego Charger ended as he signed a two year deal worth up to $8 million dollars with the Tennessee Titans. Whitehurst’s career has been defined by potential and one big win as a Seattle Seahawk that sent the team to the playoffs in 2010-11. While the NFL still isn’t sure exactly what Whitehurst is, it’s no secret the Chargers will miss the long-haired backup quarterback. Philip Rivers championed for Chaz this past season as the Chargers starting quarterback respected and valued his relationship with the backup. Clipboard Jesus, as many like to call Whitehurst, provided valuable insight for Rivers and the two had a great working relationship. However, San Diego now brings in a seasoned backup with much more NFL experience.

Kellen Clemens has started 21 games in the NFL and appeared in 40. Compare that to Whitehurst’s four starts and six appearances — and consider Clemens contract is worth roughly $5 million dollars less over the same duration — and the Chargers appear to have done a fine job filling in their hole at QB. Clemens also started nine games last year going 4-5 with a team lacking offensive talent. ESPN’s Rams blogger, Nick Wagoner, wrote a nice piece last night criticizing St. Louis for letting the veteran quarterback walk. Wagoner points to Clemens leadership and well-respected reputation in the locker-room as the pros to having Clemens on the team.

While Rivers won’t have his reliable backup he has become comfortable with over the past two years, I have a feeling he will have no problem working with Clemens. The former New York Jet and St. Louis Ram comes in with a solid reputation and a much cheaper contract. Hats off to Telesco for replacing a need at a discounted price and giving youngster Brad Sorensen some more time to develop.

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