Chargers announce they’re moving on from Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Philip Rivers, starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers since 2006, will have a new home in 2020 as the team announced on Monday they won’t resign him

For the first time in 15 years, the Los Angeles Chargers will have a different starting quarterback come next season.

The Chargers announced on Monday that they won’t resign quarterback Philip Rivers and will allow the 16-year veteran to hit free agency. Rivers signed a four-year, $84 million contract extension with the team before the 2015 season, a deal that expired at the end of 2019.

Rivers has been the Chargers starting quarterback since the 2006 season when the team allowed Drew Brees to leave for New Orleans and handed the reins to the fourth-overall pick in the 2004 draft. Rivers has started all 224 games, plus 11 in the postseason, since then and leaves the Chargers as the franchise leader in almost every passing category: yards, completions, touchdowns, and games started.

“In anything you do, it’s the people you do it with that make it special,” Rivers said in a statement released by the team on Monday. “There are so many relationships and memories with coaches, support staff and teammates that will last forever, and for that I am so thankful.”

“I never took for granted the opportunity to lead this team out on to the field for 235 games. We had a lot of great moments, beginning in San Diego and then finishing in L.A. I wish my teammates and coaches nothing but the best moving forward.”

First acquired in a draft-day trade with the New York Giants in exchange for Eli Manning, Rivers has led the Chargers to six playoff appearances. The 38-year-old ranks sixth all-time with 59,271 passing yards and 397 touchdowns.

But his career with the Chargers also contained plenty of disappointments. He was only 5-6 in the postseason and advanced past the divisional round just one time, in the 2007 season. Most notably, he was 0-8 in his career against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, including three playoff losses.

Despite the lack of a Super Bowl title, Rivers still endeared himself to the San Diego community. Even when the team relocated to Los Angeles in 2017, he continued to live in San Diego and make the 120-mile trip north. But he announced this offseason he was moving his family to Florida, signaling that he was ready to move on from the only NFL home he’s ever known.

The Chargers made the playoffs in 2018 with a 12-4 record but fell back to 5-11 in 2019, their offense dropping to 21st in the league in points scored as Rivers threw 20 interceptions and had his lowest QBR since 2012.

Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick, a fifth-round pick from last year’s draft, are the other quarterbacks on the Chargers roster. The team has the sixth-overall pick in April’s draft with the chance to pick up Rivers’ successor and lead them into their first season at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

dark. Next. Here's what to expect with Chris Jones, Chiefs