For many football fans the final piece, the last thing that represented and kept alive the San Diego Chargers, was Philip Rivers.
That piece is now gone.
According to published reports, the Chargers have decided not bring back Rivers. The free agent quarterback, who says he still wants to play football, will spend his 17th NFL season with another franchise.
Rivers owns just about every franchise passing record and, after the team moved to Los Angeles, is the only player who chose to continue living full time in San Diego. The writing was probably on the wall when Rivers recently moved his family out of town to Florida.
His production took a dip in 2019 but that’s likely a factor of playing behind an offensive line that ranked near the bottom of the NFL and injuries (plus a holdout) to several of his weapons.
At the age of 38, Rivers made enough throws to show he can still be an upper tier NFL QB. When free agency opens in March, he will have multiple suitors who believe they’re a capable passer away from being title contenders. On that list are Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Chicago and Carolina, among others.
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn has said he prefers a more mobile QB so it looks like the team will either try to draft one, go with backup Tyrod Taylor as the starter, or sign another free agent in the off-season.
But not having the presence of Philip Rivers certainly will not help them fill seats that they’re already struggling to sell when they move into the sprawling new home of the Los Angeles Rams next season.
Or at least, there will be a lot less traffic heading north from San Diego in Sundays.