Home » Blog » Chargers must look toward future

Chargers must look toward future

The San Diego Chargers are finally guaranteed not to lose this week. San Diego is on a BYE week, giving it a break from its miserable 2-7 campaign. Many believed the Chargers were a team that could surprise in the AFC West this season, but nothing of the sort has materialized.

San Diego signed quarterback Philip Rivers to a four-year contract extension this offseason, clearly investing with the hope that the Chargers could build another championship contender before Rivers retired. Instead, this is clearly a team in need of a complete rebuild, perhaps including the quarterback position.

Rivers is a tremendous player, shown by his statistics in 2015. The 12-year veteran has thrown for a league-leading 3,033 yards to go with 19 touchdowns, despite sitting behind a leaky offensive line and being without much running game. San Diego’s leading rusher is this year’s highly-touted rookie, Melvin Gordon. Gordon has 413 rushing yards on 3.6 yards per carry and is still looking for his first touchdown.

So why move on from Rivers? At 33 years old (and 34 in December), chances are San Diego is not winning a Super Bowl during his career. This is a team that will be looking mighty different in 2016, after All-Pro safety Eric Weddle moves on in free agency, likely accompanied by receiver Malcom Floyd. The Chargers could also lose outside linebacker Melvin Ingram (who leads them in sacks with four) and are certain to wave goodbye to tight end Antonio Gates, who is playing in his last season.

San Diego could get a massive haul for Rivers, who is locked up through the 2019 season. Rivers could be cut before the 2018 season for a $10.5 million cap savings and before the 2019 campaign at $16 million in savings. Ultimately, a team would only be locking themselves into Rivers for two seasons and if things go south, could move on.

The Chargers would likely be able to get at least one first-round pick and perhaps two, along with a litany of other secondary selections. This would jumpstart the rebuilding process for a team with major needs across the front seven of the defense, the offensive line and on the outside. General manager Tom Telesco also has another advantage; moving to a new city.

It has become clear throughout this season that the Chargers are soon headed to Los Angeles. The franchise is going to get unconditional love and support in the honeymoon period after the move, so why not take the time to get younger and start trying to do something long-term?

San Diego has been trying to patch holes for years, hoping the presence of Rivers would be enough to get them into the postseason and maybe get on a roll from there. It has not worked, and it is about time the Chargers recognize the errors of their ways and make wholesale changes.

  • 100%