Dec 22, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens (10) throws a pass to wide receiver Chris Givens (13) during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
Kellen Clemens was drafted in the 2nd round by the Jets out of Oregon in 2006. He has been the clipboard holder/insurance behind the likes of Chad Pennington, Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez, and Sam Bradford. This past season, he had his best season statistically. And if you read my article on Donald Brown, you know I love numbers.
He played in a career high 10 games in 2013, passing for 1,673 yards and 8 touchdowns. All career highs. If there was ever a good time to sign Clemens, the Chargers found it. San Diego got him for 2 years and $3 million. He was less than half the price of Charlie Whitehurst, who bolted for the Titans. Clemens is also more of a solid back up than Whitehurst for our main man Philip Rivers. Clemens will be 31 before the season starts, almost 2 years younger than Rivers. He won’t cause any quarterback controversy in training camp, but he provides more of a solid insurance than Clipboard Charlie. He was 4-5 as a starter last year, beating two playoff teams in the Saints and Colts. He threw for 247 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win against Indianapolis, and also 218 yards and a touchdown against the formidable defense of the 49ers.
So fear not Chargers fans, Clemens is an able-bodied QB. Sure he isn’t an All-Pro, Pro Bowler, or even a long-term solution as a starting QB, but heaven forbid Rivers goes down, Clemens could hold back the flood waters and keep the Chargers in games. Especially if the Chargers can sign or draft more help in the passing game. Rivers is our guy, but Clemens is a step up from Whitehurst. That much we do know.