Philip Rivers’ time with the Los Angeles Chargers may be coming to an end this month — sooner than many, including Rivers himself, expected.
Rivers, an eight-time Pro Bowler who has spent his entire career with the Chargers organization, is currently in the final year of a four-year, $83 million deal he signed before the 2015 season.
After a poor season from both Rivers and the team as a whole, however, it’s plausible that the Chargers could decide to move away from Rivers and embrace a new quarterback.
Though Rivers has said he wants to return for another season in 2020 — which will mark the first in SoFi Stadium, the massive new Inglewood stadium that the Chargers will share with the Rams starting in 2020 — the 38-year-old knows it’s not necessarily up to him.
“It is not solely going to be my decision,” Rivers said Sunday, via the Orange County Register. “That’s where I think the uncertainty lies. We will just kind of have to see. I think when the dust settles on December 29th and 30th, and times goes from there, it will all play out.
“I think with that uncertainty, it does add some emotion and it adds some intentional appreciation for what could be the last two [games], even though they may not be. I think just with that uncertainty comes that approach and emotion.”
The Chargers fell to 5-9 for the season on Sunday after their rough 39-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Rivers, while going 28-of-39 for 307 yards through the air, threw three picks in the loss — bringing his season total to 18, the second-most in the league behind only Jameis Winston.
Though he’s still putting up similar numbers this season as he has in recent years — Rivers has completed more than 65 percent of his passes for 4,055 yards so far this season, and is on pace to match (or come close to) his stats from the previous two seasons — the Chargers aren’t winning. They’ve lost four of their last five, and will finish without making the playoffs for the eighth time this decade.
And at 38 years old, Rivers can’t have much left in the tank. Only two other starting quarterbacks, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, are older than Rivers, and they’re both rapidly approaching the end of their respective NFL careers, too.
While he doesn’t know what’s going to happen this offseason, Rivers said he isn’t going to take the final two games of this season lightly.
After all, they could be his final two in a Chargers uniform.
“Yeah, I mean they could be [my last],” Rivers said. “I don’t necessarily expect that it is, or I don’t necessarily think it’s a crazy thought that it will be. I think you just don’t know, so I think you always don’t take any of it for granted. I sure hope I haven’t.
“I don’t feel like I have over 16 years, but I think this is a unique situation in terms of contract being up, it being a bit of a bumpy year to say the least, and you just don’t know that uncertainty. Even more so now, these last two against Oakland and Kansas City, that you know, you take it all in just in case.”
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