Chargers Rumors

Latest On Chargers’ QB Situation

The Chargers recently indicated they will not be re-signing Philip Rivers, and they have been heavily connected to free agent-to-be Tom Brady. But while it may not be the splashiest move, it sounds as if the Bolts may simply roll with Tyrod Taylor as their starter in 2020.

Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link), the Chargers are comfortable with Taylor as a bridge option to a rookie signal-caller. The team is armed with the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, and they could have a few promising prospects fall to them if they don’t elect to trade up. Indeed, the Chargers are said to be high on Utah State QB Jordan Love, who will most likely still be available when LA is on the clock.

Taylor, who will turn 31 in August, is a capable passer who generally takes care of the football and who can make plays with his legs. Given the overall talent on the Chargers’ roster, that might be all they need to get back into the playoffs in 2020. Taylor’s leadership and experience would also be beneficial to a young QB, and head coach Anthony Lynn is very high on him.

“Tyrod Taylor is a heck of a quarterback,” Lynn recently said in a radio interview (h/t Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com). “We couldn’t have a better backup right now, and now he has an opportunity to maybe step up into a starting role.”

Taylor is under contract through 2020, though the Chargers could part ways with him and save $5MM of cap space by doing so. Speculatively, the Chargers could pursue Brady, and if they land him, they can cut Taylor and still select the quarterback of the future in the draft. If they can’t get Brady, than Taylor is still a serviceable fallback option and may be just as good as the other signal-callers that might be available on the free agent or trade markets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers’ Anthony Lynn Signs Extension

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn will not be a lame duck in 2020. The Chargers recently inked Lynn to a one-year extension that keeps him under contract through 2021, per Eric Williams of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Williams’ ESPN colleague, Adam Schefter, reported earlier this month that the two sides had agreed to an extension.

The move obviously represents something of a vote of confidence in Lynn and suggests that he won’t be on the hot seat this year, despite the team’s disappointing 2019. The Chargers finished out with a 5-11 record, but they still believe that Lynn is the best man to lead them moving forward.

The new deal for Lynn addresses at least one question mark for the Bolts, but plenty remain for them this offseason. The Chargers’ first priority will be to figure out the future of their quarterback position.

Longtime franchise face Philip Rivers recently bought a home in Florida, leading many to speculate that a divorce is just around the corner. However, the Chargers haven’t made a firm decision on what they’ll do with No. 17 – they could use the franchise tag to keep him, rather than negotiating a fresh deal with the aging vet. Alternatively, they could allow Rivers to walk and promote Tyrod Taylor to the starting role. Beyond those two QBs, there are ample possibilities on the open market, including future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

In three seasons as the Chargers’ head coach, Lynn has coached the team to a 26-22 record. In 2018, his second year at the helm, the Chargers made the playoffs with a 12-4 record and advanced to the Divisional Round before they were downed by Brady & Co.

In the eyes of GM Tom Telesco, Lynn was not to blame for the Chargers’ down year – there were injuries abound and Rivers’ inconsistency certainly did not help matters. This year, the Chargers will have upwards of $48MM in cap room, plus the No. 6 overall pick, as they look to get back on the right track.

Chargers GM Discusses Rivers Decision

  • The Chargers announced earlier this week that they wouldn’t be bringing back franchise quarterback Philip Rivers. After the signal-caller spent 16 years with the organization, GM Tom Telesco made it clear that he wanted the breakup to be as clean as possible. “Once we saw the way this was heading, it was in the forefront of my mind,” Telesco told SI’s Albert Breer. “I mean, he’s an icon for the organization and he’s done so much here. I wanted to make sure everything was done as respectfully and classy as possible. This can be a very difficult business for all of us to be in—head coaches, GMs, players. That was the thought in my mind.” The 38-year-old Rivers has already insinuated that he won’t be retiring.

Philip Rivers Not Planning To Retire

One of the highest-profile quarterbacks to ever hit the free agent market will indeed survey his options. The Chargers and Philip Rivers are going their separate ways, and Rivers wants to continue his career. The 38-year-old passer is not considering retirement. However, he now has a retirement window in mind.

I can say for certain that if I’m playing, it’s a two-year maximum,” Rivers said, via Sam Farmer of the 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 said last season he was open to playing elsewhere but was believed to be weighing retirement recently. But it looks like teams will have Rivers to consider this offseason, which may feature an unusual amount of quarterback movement.

The eight-time Pro Bowler did not play well last season, regressing considerably from a strong 2018 performance that ended with the Chargers winning 12 games and reaching the divisional round. But Rivers’ 2019 work nearly got him benched for Tyrod Taylor in December. But Bolts GM Tom Telesco said the veteran was still capable of playing at a high level after the season; another team will have the chance to find out.

Rivers has started 224 straight games — second-most in NFL history by a quarterback — since taking over for Drew Brees in San Diego 14 years ago. A few teams figure to be interested in allowing him to extend that streak. The Buccaneers have been mentioned as a possible Rivers destination. He has since moved his family to north Florida. Rivers worked with Colts staffers Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni while with the Chargers and remains close to both coaches, per Albert Breer of SI.com. While Breer adds the Titans to the prospective suitor list, Rivers would prefer he land with a Super Bowl contender.

Certainly you want a chance to win a championship, but it’s not just about that,” Rivers said, via Farmer. “If you told me right now, ‘You’re going to play for two years, and you’re going to be good. But y’all will not win a Super Bowl. Will you still play?’ Heck yeah, I’ll still play.”

So it’s not like it’s a Super Bowl or nothing. But if it’s a team where it’s going to be tough sledding and they’re two years away from even having a chance, and they led the league in most sacks given up or something, then it’s, ‘I don’t think so, guys.’”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Won’t Re-Sign Philip Rivers

On Monday, the Chargers announced that they will not bring back Philip Rivers for the 2020 season. With that, Rivers will move on to free agency where he’ll seek another team for his 17th year a a pro.

[RELATED: Eric Weddle Retires From NFL]

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,” said General Manager Tom Telesco in a press 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.”

Rivers will leave the club after setting more than 30 franchise records and 224 consecutive starts. For his part, the eight-time Pro Bowler says there are no hard feelings as he leaves the only NFL franchise he’s ever known.

I am very grateful to the Spanos family and the Chargers organization for the last 16 years,” said Rivers. “In anything you do, it’s the people you do it with that make it special. 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 LA. I wish my teammates and coaches nothing but the best moving forward.”

Many of Rivers’ career numbers also stand as league-wide benchmarks. With 123 career wins in the regular season, he’s ninth among QBs on the all-time list, ahead of names like Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana. He’s also one of just six quarterbacks to have thrown for more than 58,000 passing yards.

But, in the NFL, you’re only as good as your last season, and executives are always thinking one, two, and three years ahead. Rivers’ 2019 season was marred by turnovers – he was picked off 20 times and his 23 touchdowns weren’t nearly enough to erase those INTs. Historically, though, Rivers has been strong in that department. In 2018, for example, he lobbed 32 TDs against just 12 interceptions.

Rivers will join a potentially crowded field of free agent quarterbacks in March. Tom Brady, Ryan Tannehill, and Teddy Bridgewater are just some of the other names that could be available for teams in need. The Chargers could consider those options alongside this year’s crop of quarterback prospects in the draft, or turn the starting job over to backup Tyrod Taylor. Meanwhile, with Rivers out of the picture, they may use the franchise tag to hang on to tight end Hunter Henry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Who Will Tom Brady Play For In 2020?

As expected, Tom Brady‘s name has become a mainstay in NFL headlines as we creep closer to the opening of free agency in March. Even as the 2019 season was in progress, his future in the league was often discussed, and several teams were rumored as potential landing spots if he should continue his playing career and elect to leave the Patriots.

And while Brady put an end to any retirement drama immediately after New England’s ouster from the playoffs by saying he would return to the field in 2020, the question of where he will play is still very much unsettled.

The Chargers, long rumored as a possible fit, were definitively linked to Brady just last week, when Ian Rapoport of NFL.com confirmed that the Bolts would make a push for the six-time Super Bowl champ. Given the talent that LA boasts at the skill positions and the fact that the club could incorporate Brady’s TB12 workout facility into its brand new stadium — not to mention Brady’s connections to SoCal — a Chargers-Brady partnership is a logical one.

But LA’s division rival, the Raiders, are also planning to pursue the future Hall of Famer. Adding Brady at this point in his career would not necessarily represent a slam-dunk upgrade over Derek Carr, but it would make a ton of sense from a marketing perspective for the Las Vegas-bound outfit and for Brady, and if the Raiders improve their receiving corps — which they are fully expected to do — they could compete for a wildcard berth in 2020.

The Colts and Titans have been more speculative fits than anything else, but the Colts hung around the playoff picture for much of the 2019 season, the AFC South looks like it will be up for grabs again in 2020, and Brady could be the boost that gets Indianapolis back to the postseason. The Colts are also flush with cap space, so they could afford to sign Brady while also providing him with a couple of additional weapons, though they already have a few talented pieces at the skill positions.

Of course, the Titans were the team that ended the Patriots’ 2019 playoff run, and they advanced to the AFC Championship game behind a dominant running game and good defense. Ryan Tannehill was more of a game manager in the playoffs than he was in his regular season renaissance, and recent reports have suggested that Tennessee may not be as committed to him as was once believed. If Brady is interested, the Titans may be, too.

And then there’s the Patriots, who became one of the all-time great dynasties in sports with Brady under center. Owner Robert Kraft has made it clear that he wants Brady back, but some around the league believe the 42-year-old will leave Foxborough, leaving the Pats without a definitive answer at QB for the first time in 20 years.

So what do you think? Will Brady remain with the only team he has ever known, or will he play out the remainder of his career trying to bring glory to another franchise? Vote in the poll below and show your work in the comments.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eric Weddle Retires From NFL

On Thursday, Eric Weddle announced that he has reached the end of his extraordinary career. After 13 years, the legendary safety will move on to new endeavors and spend more time with his family.

Weddle’s journey began in 2007 with the Chargers. There, he forged a reputation as one of the league’s most imposing and hard-nosed safeties, collecting three Pro Bowl nominations and two First-Team All-Pro selections over the course of nine seasons. He also became one of the franchise’s main faces. Weddle became synonymous with San Diego, and he did not make the move to L.A. with his longtime club.

Unable to come to terms on a new deal, Weddle moved on to the Ravens before the 2016 season. His second chapter brought more memorable moments, including three consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl and 220 total tackles.

When the Ravens cut him loose last year, he hooked on with the Rams on a two-year pact. After tallying 108 tackles (good for second on the team) and four passes defensed, Weddle expressed uncertainty about whether he’d return for another season and attempt to play through chronic shoulder and knee pain. It also wasn’t clear whether the Rams had him in their plans – Weddle was set to count for a $4.75MM cap charge in 2020, and all but $500K could have been erased with his release.

Towards the end, Weddle’s declining speed and mounting list of ailments started to show. Regardless, he leaves the game with more accomplishments than we can list, but we’ll list a few more of them here – 1,179 total tackles, 29 interceptions, 98 passes defensed, 9.5 sacks, and five All-Pro nods (counting second- and third-team). We here at PFR wish Weddle the best in retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Re-Sign OC Shane Steichen

It’s official. On Tuesday, the Chargers formally re-signed offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to a brand new deal that will keep him on board for the 2020 season and beyond. 

[RELATED: Chargers’ Anthony Lynn Signs Extension]

Terms of the deal are not yet known, but Steichen’s pact almost certainly will take him through the 2022 season, and possibly longer. Steichen started last season as the team’s quarterbacks coach, but he was bumped up to the OC job – with play-calling responsibilities – after Ken Whisenhunt was canned in October.

Under Whisenhunt, the run game was downright pitiful: The Chargers went four straight games without achieving 40 yards rushing and their spotty aerial attack had them ranked No. 23 in the league in points. With Steichen at the helm, things improved somewhat – they converted on more red zone opportunities, placed No. 12 in DVOA on the year, and averaged nearly three more points per contest in the second half of the season.

Meanwhile, Steichen’s effect on wide receiver Mike Williams was immediately apparent – the former first-round pick had an iffy start to the year, bu the helped kick off the OC’s promotion with three catches for 111 yards against the Packers in Week 9. All in all, he had 582 receiving yards in the back half of the season and finished with a league-leading 20.4 yards per reception.

Steichen’s relationship with Philip Rivers could help to facilitate a reunion. The veteran is scheduled for free agency and recently bought a home in Florida, but the Chargers are still open to keeping him via a new deal or the franchise tag.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2020 Draft Order

Super Bowl LIV is in the books, which means the order for the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is set. By virtue of their 31-20 win Sunday night, the Chiefs will have the final pick in the first round. The 49ers dropping to 5-2 in Super Bowls will result in the NFC champions approaching the podium at No. 31.

Here is the full first-round order:

1. Bengals (2-14)

2. Redskins (3-13)

3. Lions (3-12-1)

4. Giants (4-12)

5 Dolphins (5-11)

6. Chargers (5-11)

7. Panthers (5-11)

8. Cardinals (5-10-1)

9. Jaguars (6-10)

10. Browns (6-10)

11. Jets (7-9)

12. Raiders (7-9)

13. Colts (7-9)

14. Buccaneers (7-9)

15. Broncos (7-9)

16. Falcons (7-9)

17. Cowboys (8-8)

18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)

19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)

20. Jaguars (via Rams 9-7)

21. Eagles (9-7)

22. Bills (10-6)

23. Patriots (12-4)

24. Saints (13-3)

25. Vikings (10-6)

26. Dolphins (via Texans 10-6)

27. Seahawks (11-5)

28. Ravens (14-2)

29. Titans (9-7)

30. Packers (13-3)

31. 49ers (13-3)

32. Chiefs (12-4)

Chargers May Tag Philip Rivers, Colts And Retirement Also Options

Philip Rivers‘ future is very much up in the air. There have been indications that Rivers could be headed for a split with the Chargers, although that certainly isn’t definite. To that end, Los Angeles hasn’t “firmly decided” what they’re going to do with Rivers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link). 

Rapoport reports that the Chargers are still mulling using their franchise tag on Rivers. If they do decide to move on, Rapoport says not to be surprised if the Colts emerge as a landing spot. Rivers has plenty of connections to Indy, as head coach Frank Reich used to be his offensive coordinator in San Diego and he also played under Colts OC Nick Sirianni. We’ve also heard that Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers could be interested in Rivers’ services.

Interestingly, Rapoport says that retirement is still an option for Rivers if his market isn’t too hot, which is new. Rivers said immediately after the season ended that he had no plans to retire. Rapoport’s NFL Network colleague Mike Garafolo said in the same clip that he had also heard retirement is still on the table.

Rivers had a down 2019 due to a lot of turnovers, but the year before he was one of the best passers in the league. He led the Chargers to a 12-4 record that year while tossing 32 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions, averaging a robust 8.5 yards per attempt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.