The Los Angeles Chargers have issued a statement saying that the team and quarterback Philip Rivers “have mutually agreed that Rivers will enter free agency and not return to the team for the 2020 season.”
“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. “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.”
“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.”
The announcement comes as little surprise, especially after Rivers moved his family to Florida last month.
Rivers was the fourth overall draft pick out of North Carolina State in 2004. He was drafted by the New York Giants, then traded to the Chargers (along with other draft picks that were used to select linebacker Shawne Merriman and kicker Nate Kaeding) in the Eli Manning deal. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in all major passing stats.
Rivers’ most remarkable trait may be his durability; he has started every game for the Chargers since 2006. Since then, only his former teammate Drew Brees has more passes, completions, or yards; only Brees and Tom Brady have thrown more touchdowns; only Eli Manning, the quarterback for whom he was once traded, has thrown more interceptions; and only Ben Roethlisberger (another quarterback from the Class of 2004) and Aaron Rodgers have taken more sacks.