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Chargers release QB Flutie

SAN DIEGO (March 11, 2005) -- Doug Flutie was released by the San Diego Chargers, possibly marking the end of a long career that included stops in three professional leagues.

The 42-year-old quarterback, best-known for the "Hail Mary" pass that helped him win the 1984 Heisman Trophy, had two years left on his contract and was due a roster bonus March 15.

Flutie signed as a free agent with the Chargers in 2001 and started all 16 games that season as he mentored rookie Drew Brees. Brees took over as starter in 2002, although Flutie made five consecutive starts in 2003 after Brees was benched.

Brees had an outstanding season last year and the Chargers also have Philip Rivers, the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and second-year man Cleo Lemon at quarterback. The team carried four QBs last sason.

Flutie's last start came in the Chargers' regular-season finale on Jan. 2 against Kansas City, when Brees was rested for the playoffs. He scrambled around, as he often did, and threw one touchdown pass.

Flutie had hoped to play at least one more season with the Chargers because his daughter will be a senior at La Jolla High next year.

The 5-foot-10 Flutie always battled doubts about his size. San Diego was his fourth stop in his NFL career, which was interrupted by an eight-year stint in the CFL. Flutie began his pro career in 1985 with the USFL's New Jersey Generals.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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