With Philip Rivers set to be a free agent in the offseason, it makes sense to look at who the Chargers’ quarterback could be in 2020.
Going into the season, the expectation was for Rivers to be the quarterback for the Chargers in 2020, even when the sides didn’t come to a deal in the offseason. Now, it feels like there may be some more possibilities, as some relatively credible reports have come in during the last few weeks. Tom Brady in powder blue? It may not be as far-fetched as it sounds, despite how it makes my stomach churn. There are some rumors that have some credibility to them, so let’s talk about them and how they would work.
Option 1: Philip Rivers signs extension, Chargers decide to not draft a quarterback in 2020
Right now, this seems like probably the first or second likeliest option. A two-year extension would take Rivers through the 2021 season, and the Chargers can decide to draft a successor or find a replacement in that time. Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields look to be amongst a decent crop of quarterbacks in the 2021 draft and the Chargers can sit one of those types of talents behind Rivers in what would be potentially his last year.
Rivers hasn’t given the NFL a real solid retirement date, but he also doesn’t plan to play into his mid-40s like a Brady or Drew Brees. Signing him to a two-year deal takes him to 40 years old while the Chargers in that time can get prepared for life without him. There’s also the confidence he can still play two more years, as he’s been particularly elite in the last few years, following the 2012 slump.
Rivers has some problems in his game, especially as he ages. But when you watch this Chargers team play, the problem simply isn’t the quarterback. When he gets proper pass protection, he’s a top ten quarterback in this league at the very least. Rocking the boat by throwing out a very consistent option at quarterback could damage the team for years. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.