Rivers rumors run dry
49ERS, CHARGERS SQUASH TALK OF DEAL
By Dennis Georgatos
Rumors that the Chargers might trade Philip Rivers to the 49ers for the No. 1 pick in the April 23-24 NFL draft were shot down Tuesday by officials from both teams.
``It's never going to happen, not in a million years,'' San Diego team president Dean Spanos said. ``It's totally untrue, OK? There is no interest in that whatsoever and never has been. There have been no talks'' with the 49ers regarding such a deal.
Speculation about the possible trade has been swirling on various Internet sites, including Profootballtalk.com and ESPN.com. The rumored deal also has been fodder for sportstalk radio, but like Spanos, 49ers Coach Mike Nolan said there is nothing to it.
``It is simply a rumor and there is no truth to it,'' Nolan said through a team spokesman.
Nolan did not elaborate on the 49ers' intentions for the No. 1 pick. He has said previously that the team is considering four or five players with the top pick, which the 49ers received after finishing a league-worst 2-14 last season.
Possibilities include Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Utah quarterback Alex Smith and Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards.
Nolan also has not ruled out trading down. If that happens, Spanos said, it won't involve the Chargers, who already have two picks in the first round. He was even more emphatic when asked if there was a chance the Chargers would consider trading their starting quarterback, Drew Brees, who has been designated as San Diego's franchise player.
``We're staying the course with both of our guys. We're staying with Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, period!'' he said.
Rivers, formerly of North Carolina State, was the fourth overall selection by the New York Giants in last April's draft and some scouts rank him as a better prospect than either Rodgers or Smith. Rivers went to San Diego as part of the trade that sent last year's top pick by the Chargers, quarterback Eli Manning, to New York.
Rivers took himself out of the running for the Chargers' starting job last year when he missed much of training camp because of a contract holdout. Brees went on to rebound from a tough season, leading San Diego to a first-place finish in the AFC West.
• The 49ers open a three-day veterans mini-camp Friday. It will be the first opportunity for returning players to work with the new coaching staff