Veteran quarterback Mark Brunell could miss the Washington Redskins' entire offseason program, and might not be ready until training camp in July, following Monday surgery to repair labrum damage to his throwing shoulder.
The question of Brunell's availability in the offseason, coupled with his scheduled base salary of $5.2 million for 2007, leaves his future with the Redskins uncertain. The 14-year veteran lost his starting job to Jason Campbell at midseason, and the youngster will go to camp No. 1 on the depth chart, meaning that Brunell will almost certainly be asked to rework his contract.
Brunell, 36, faces a grueling four- or five-month rehabilitation stretch on his left shoulder. And his base salary and the salary cap charges for 2007 are exorbitant for a player regarded as a backup. Washington officials are expected to approach several players about restructuring their contracts in the offseason. Brunell readjusted his contract in 2006 to help the Redskins. He is under contract through the 2010 season.
Coach Joe Gibbs reiterated last week that he would like to retain Brunell for 2007. Doing so would give the Redskins a proven backup and provide a steadying hand for Campbell, the team's first-round selection in the 2005 draft.
But with Brunell unlikely to be able to throw at all until June at the earliest, the Redskins might have to make some contingency plans. Little-used veteran Todd Collins is the other quarterback on the roster.
Brunell started the first nine games of the 2006 season for the Redskins but, with the team out of playoff contention, Gibbs finally turned to Campbell, who didn't take a single snap as a rookie in 2005. Campbell completed 110 of 207 passes for 1,297 yards, with 10 touchdown passes and six interceptions, and a passer rating of 76.5.
The former Auburn standout, who compiled a 2-5 record as the starter, had some rough spots, but also demonstrated great athleticism and a very live arm.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.