Free Agency Gets Started with McCree

Posted Mar 11, 2006

The first-day of the free agent player signing period started slowly for the Chargers, until the team signed safety Marlon McCree.

The Chargers meeting with Carolina Panthers safety Marlon McCree on Saturday ended with the safety signing a five-year deal with the team. McCree, a physical safety with ample ability is expected to challenge, if not surplant starter Bhawoh Jue in the defensive backfield.

Discussions lasted throughout the day between McCree and the Chargers, with the player believed to be intrigued and interested in joining the Chargers.

Quarterback Drew Brees opted for free agency, rather than accept an offer from the team. Linebacker Ben Leber quickly bolted for Minnesota, signing a four-year deal with the Vikings worth an estimated 20-million dollars.

San Diego had hoped to meet with offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley, but the All-Pro was quickly swooped up by the Cleveland Browns, just hours into free agency.

Leber, who lost his starting job to Shawne Merriman in San Diego last year, was expected to depart in free agency. Familiar to new Vikings G.M. Fran Foley, Leber is viewed as a solid fit in the Vikings new Tampa 2 defense.

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