Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will be a free agent soon, and he has no intention of hanging up his cleats just yet. Rivers said he wants to continue playing next season, and that it doesn’t have to be for the Chargers, according to The Athletic’s Daniel Popper.
Rivers, 38, saw his numbers drop off a bit in 2019. In 16 games, Rivers threw for 23 touchdowns against 20 interceptions. The Chargers went 5-11, and finished last in the AFC West.
While it’s not a shock that Rivers wants to keep playing — especially considering Tom Brady and Drew Brees are still going strong in their 40s — it is surprising that he would consider leaving the Chargers. Perhaps no player has defined the franchise more over the past 16 seasons than Rivers.
He got emotional talking about that after Sunday’s 31-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Philip Rivers got emotional after the Chargers' loss today 😥pic.twitter.com/AZztwtdtSp— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) December 29, 2019
For as good as Rivers has been over his career, the Chargers have never played in a Super Bowl with Rivers at the helm. The playoff losses haven’t always been Rivers’ fault, though the Chargers carry a reputation for blowing games late. Rivers — whether it’s fair or not — gets included in that narrative.
If Rivers leaves, he should draw interest on the market. Even if he’s no longer a top-five player at the position, Rivers would still be an upgrade for many struggling teams. On a team with a strong defense — like the Chicago Bears — Rivers could be the piece that gets the team back to the playoffs.
That line of thinking might be premature. Rivers can still stay with the Chargers on the right deal. Given how much he means to the franchise, the team might be motivated to get something done.
If not, then Rivers will find himself wearing a different uniform for the first time in his NFL career. While that might be sad for some, a change of scenery could be exactly what Rivers needs to make one more run at a Super Bowl win.
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