The Chargers were back at it for phase two of their off season workouts on Monday morning, and quarterback Philip Rivers was out on the field for the second week in a row. After practice the 16-year veteran told media that he has no problem playing out the final year of his contract.
“I’d be fine with it and we could look at it again in the early spring if that in fact is how it plays out,” Rivers said. “I really have no goal, or see it playing a certain way. I really don’t. I’m very at peace with where it is right now. I’m under contract this season and I’m excited for this team and our opportunities.”
Rivers is in the final year of the four-year $83.25 million deal he signed in 2015. Since signing that extension Rivers has been phenomenal, throwing 122 touchdowns. He also led his team to a playoff victory over the Baltimore Ravens last season.
“I’m thankful for that if that opportunity comes, but I’m fine right where we are,” Rivers said. “I’m under no immediate stress or urgency to get this done. If that means playing it out, that will be fine. It really will.”
Before the NFL Draft GM Tom Telesco said his quarterback wasn’t going anywhere and they would try to get extension talks going. Telesco stated numerous times that he thought Rivers had an NFL MVP season and heaped praise on the veteran QB.
“I’m grateful for each year,” explained Telesco. “I really am. I’m grateful for every year that he’s playing. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look long term and see what the solution is down the road. But I’m grateful for every year.”
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger – who was in the same 2004 NFL Draft class as Rivers - signed a two-year $68 million extension in April. What is uncertain is whether Rivers will sign something similar, or if take a smaller contract to help the Chargers keep or sign other players.
Now Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has stated numerous times that he could play until hes 45, but Rivers doesn’t have the same aspirations. He has said in the past that he wanted to get to the team’s new stadium in Inglewood and then see how he is doing health wise, but he truly doesn’t have a timetable.
“I really don’t have a number in mind,” he said. “This is as honest as I can be. It is the truth. I’m just focused on this year, and we’ll go from there. If it’s another year, it’s another year — both the team and myself are seeing it the same way — then we’ll go again.”
When talking to veterans who have retired they say that you don’t fall out of love with the game, but instead what it takes to get ready for Sundays – the preparation - which is something that Rivers still enjoys.
“I still get excited,” explained Rivers. “I enjoyed a little break over Easter. Not being here though I was like ‘Gosh I am excited to get back there’ knowing that the guys were here and I wasn’t felt a little weird. But I am as fired up as I usually am at this point and looking forward to it.”
Rivers knows his time is almost up, but as long as he continues playing at a high level, Rivers may be able to hold off father time enough to allow an improving team to bring Rivers what he has coveted, a Lombardi Trophy.