Like the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger, the Chargers aren’t expected to work out a new contract with Philip Rivers before the 2014 season, but the team figures to instigate talks with its quarterback after the season, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. La Canfora reports that San Diego is interested in keeping Rivers around beyond 2015, when his current deal expires, and would like to avoid having him play a lame-duck year without an extension in ’15.
With no deal expected until after the 2014 season, Rivers’ play this year could go a long way toward determining what kind of extension he eventually signs. After a solid but unspectacular 2012 campaign, the former fourth overall pick enjoyed perhaps the best season of his career in 2013, completing an NFL-best 69.5% of his passes while racking up 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns to go along with just 11 interceptions.
If he can build off that success and continue to play well under Mike McCoy in ’14, Rivers should be in line for another lucrative deal, despite the fact that he’ll turn 34 before his current contract expires. With a handful of QBs around the league recently inking extensions, Rivers’ contract ($15.3MM per year) now ranks just outside the top 10 at the position when it comes to annual average value. Another solid year should earn him an extension in the neighborhood of the $18MM-per-year pacts signed by players like Tony Romo and Jay Cutler, though the Chargers may want to limit the years on that new deal, as Rivers enters his mid-30s.
Rivers will earn a base salary of $13.8MM in 2014 and $15.75MM in 2015, with cap hits of about $16.667MM and $17.417MM, respectively.