San Diego Chargers News & Rumors: Could 2015 Be Last NFL Season for Philip Rivers Before Free Agency?
This upcoming NFL season is scheduled to become the final year for Philip Rivers with the San Diego Chargers.
Rivers has played his entire 11-year NFL career with Chargers ever since being drafted by the New York Giants in 2004. Remember that huge Eli Manning-Rivers trade back in 2004? Alongside Dan Fouts, Rivers is the best quarterback in Chargers franchise history.
However, the 2015-16 NFL season may be Rivers' last season with the Chargers. Next season, Rivers is set to make $15.75 million in base salary, and count $17.4 million against the Chargers' salary cap. General manager Tom Telesco tried to re-sign Rivers to a new contract at the beginning of this offseason, but Rivers decided to decline that option and play it out instead.
“What I can control and all I know as of today, I am signed up for one more year.” I guess things could change, but with all the uncertainty in many aspects, I don’t see it changing before camp gets here, and when camp gets here I’m even more certain to play it out” Rivers said.
There's no doubt Rivers has been a productive quarterback for San Diego over the years. He has an 88-56 record with four playoff wins. Rivers has eclipsed the 4,000 yard passing mark in six of the last seven seasons, and his career passer rating is an impressive 95.7. Rivers routinely puts up great statistics among the best quarterbacks in the league, and losing him would immediately start a rebuilding process.
If Rivers still doesn't want to re-sign with Chargers after next season, the teams can utilize the franchise tag on him securing him Rivers for one more year.
On the other side, the Chargers may want to consider letting Rivers walk in free agency. As good as Rivers has been for San Diego, it hasn't resulted to a lot of on the field success lately. The Chargers have missed the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and they haven't hit the 10-win mark since 2009. Breaking the bank on an aging quarterback when you're not even winning with him could be detrimental.
There's no doubt that San Diego could get a lot for Rivers if they decided to trade him before next year's trade deadline. A very unlikely scenario, but still possible. The best chance the Chargers had at winning the Super Bowl was when LaDainian Tomlinson was carrying the rock. Since his departure, the Chargers have done very little to surround Rivers with top tier talent.
San Diego (along with the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams) has been in a lot of talks with the NFL about possibly relocating to Los Angeles. The Chargers have a great fan base in San Diego, but their stadium (which they have played in since 1967) is in desperate need of repair. Location appears to be a big factor for Rivers.
“What we’ve established here with my growing family is hard to recreate. It’s hard to up and recreate that. I know that moves are part of life. But that certainly is fair to say that [not being sold on moving to Los Angeles] is part of it. The good thing is I’m not under contract in a year where we’d potentially be in Los Angeles” Rivers later said.
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