Contract terminated

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

Assuming there still is a football market for Doug Flutie, it will likely be in the U.S. rather than in Canada. The San Diego Chargers, who signed Flutie in 2001 and employed him as their starting quarterback that season, terminated his contract yesterday in advance of a $350,000 US bonus he was scheduled to receive next week.

"There are no hard feelings, it's a mutual parting," the 42-year-old Flutie said in a statement released by the team. "It opens up other doors of opportunity for me if I want."

Flutie's future with the organization was at best as a third-stringer to youngsters Drew Brees and Philip Rivers.

Brees stood out as the starter last year and was recently re-signed to a one-year, $8-million deal.

BIG DEAL

Rivers, the much-ballyhooed first-round prospect San Diego drafted last year and signed to a six-year, $40.5-million contract that included a $14.5 million signing bonus, will be elevated to the backup role.

That was Flutie's job last year.

Chargers' pro and college scout Mike McCarthy speculated there may be interest in Flutie by another NFL team -- assuming Flutie still wants to play. He wanted to spend at least one more season in the San Diego area while his daughter finishes high school. Flutie may also have a shot as a television analyst.

"I think he's still wanted as a backup," McCarthy said. "I think he has a lot of qualities as a strong backup."

Argo co-owner David Cynamon also speculated some team in the NFL will want Flutie as a backup.

"I don't think there's a lot of depth (at quarterback) in the NFL," Cynamon said. "I think there's going to be somebody that needs him."


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