When your starting quarterback ends the season with nearly 4,800 passing yards you expect to see him suiting up for the playoffs. At the very least, they’re in the conversation and fall short. For Philip Rivers, despite a stellar individual season, his team landed in the AFC West basement. Can his success be duplicated next year? How much does the 34-year-old have left in the tank?
There’s something to be said when a twelve year pro breaks a personal best single season record for completions, attempts, and passing yards. No doubt a lackluster running game forced the Bolts air attack. Nevertheless, when push came to shove, Rivers delivered. He passed for more yards than championship contenders Tom Brady and Carson Palmer. There’s no glaring signs of regression. But the clock is ticking and unless the Chargers make a few moves they could squander their QB’s last best run.
San Diego has Rivers on contract though 2019 with a no-trade clause. He’s due to make $16.5 million in base salary next season with a $4.5 yearly signing bonus. It’s the bulk of his guaranteed cash. As the arguable lone bright spot this year Rivers earned his paycheck. After 2016 it slowly becomes more of a financial possibility to unload Rivers. That being said, he’s not going anywhere soon. We’re firmly entrenched in his window of opportunity.
To avoid squandering Rivers’ last run something has to change in San Diego. The Chargers need to rise from last place and be competitive in a monster division. Mediocrity will not fly. Does that mean firing head coach Mike McCoy? Philip doesn’t think so.
“I would love for him to be back…” “In the tough times, again I’ve said this with other coaches, it says a lot to me about the head coach when players play the way they played in these types of situations, in these character games. If we came out here and just slopped around, then I think that would send a different message.” – USA Today
It would behoove the front office to make Rivers happy. If we’re playing beat-the-clock with his career, I’m not sure there’s time to wait for a new coach to acclimate to America’s Finest City.
Going into 2016 the Bolts faithful can rest easy knowing their quarterback can play on the same level with the NFL’s elite. Now he just needs to play with the NFL’s elite.