Philip Rivers‘ days as a Charger are done.
The Los Angeles Chargers announced on Monday that the veteran quarterback will enter free agency after 16 years with the club.
“After stepping back a bit from last season, we reconnected with Philip and his representatives to look at how 2019 played out, assess our future goals, evaluate the current state of the roster and see if there was a path forward that made sense for both parties,” general manager Tom Telesco said in a release. “As we talked through various scenarios, it became apparent that it would be best for Philip and the Chargers to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run.
“We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020.”
Rivers ranks sixth all-time in touchdown passes and is the owner of more than 30 Chargers franchise records.
“I am very grateful to the Spanos family and the Chargers organization for the last 16 years,” Rivers said. “… 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.”
On Monday, Rivers said he can “definitely” still play, though the signal-caller isn’t looking for a long-term deal.
“I can say for certain that if I’m playing, it’s a two-year maximum,” Rivers said, according to Sam Farmer of Los Angeles Times. “Whoever the suitors are, I think that would be their hope as well. Because you never know how it goes. Shoot, if we stink it up after one year, I’m probably done. If we play really good, they’ll probably want to go again.”
Rivers had a resurgent year in 2018, leading the Chargers to a 12-4 record and a wild-card playoff victory before a loss to the New England Patriots in the divisional round. However, the 38-year-old threw 20 interceptions in 2019 – the second-highest total of his career – and the Chargers finished 5-11.
Speculation the two sides could be parting ways gained steam in January when Rivers announced he was moving his family from the San Diego area to the East Coast. He’s also said that he plans to continue his football career.
“I’m not sure what the future holds, but my family and I look forward to seeing what God has planned for us next,” Rivers said in the team release.
In 16 years, the pivot was unable to lead the Chargers to a championship. The closest they came was a trip to the AFC title game in 2007, Rivers’ fourth season and second year as a starter. The Chargers lost 21-12 to the then-undefeated Patriots.
Rivers had been a Charger since he was selected fourth overall by the New York Giants in the 2004 draft and immediately traded to San Diego for Eli Manning.
“There’s only one Philip Rivers, and we’ve been fortunate to call him our QB1 for the better part of two decades,” team owner Dean Spanos said. “We cannot thank Philip enough for giving it his all on every single down and for the memories he created that will last a lifetime.”
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