“I plan on being back next year and giving them hell again,” Hardwick said. “I look forward to having fun with the guys, stirring up the city and doing some damage across the league.”
Hardwick said he never mentioned retirement and he just wanted to have some time to assess where he’s at and how he’s playing. Eric D. Williams, who covers the Chargers for ESPN, said Hardwick is in the final year of a three-year deal and is due to earn $4.4MM in total compensation.
Chargers GM Tom Telesco said yesterday that the team has been planning for Hardwick’s return, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’re expecting him to play next year until told otherwise,” Telesco said. “Obviously, he’s a big part of the offensive line. A true team leader, a rock inside, and a guy we’d definitely love to have back.”
Gehlken also touched on receiver Malcom Floyd, who, like Hardwick, has spent the entirety of his 10-year career in San Diego. Floyd suffered a neck injury in September and his future is still undetermined.