In a bit of a surprising move, the Chargers have essentially ordered up a delay of game in the contract talks with their signal caller. Although Philip Rivers has continued his NFL-leading “Iron Man” streak of making every consecutive start since 2006, he is only contracted through the 2019/2020 season. Today, NFL.com is reporting that both sides are content to resume talks after the dust settles on the current season.
That said, neither the team nor the quarterback expect a monumental change between this season and next. The contract discussions will largely have to center around guarantees, years, incentives, and minutiae. It seems that both Rivers and the Chargers are OK with the situation, which hopefully avoids any ideas of a lame duck season.
Although both parties indicate that they are fine with picking up the discussion after this season is over, there is risk involved with that strategy. First and foremost, it doesn’t offer Philip Rivers any injury guarantees. If Rivers was to suffer a leg injury similar to Washington’s Alex Smith, his career earnings would likely be over.
On the other side, QB salaries are only going to inflate going forward. If Rivers gets to the Super Bowl this year (and he’s on a roster that is certainly hopeful), he can basically ask a king’s ransom. Delaying the contract negotiation means that Rivers is counting on his health and expecting a higher payday than he’d receive at the current time.
All contracts are a game of chess in the NFL, and there are few signal callers as deeply entrenched as Philip Rivers, but it appears that there will be no news on the quarterback position until the regular season winds down. For both the team and the player, let’s hope for health and fair terms in the near future.
-Jason “No news is also technically news” Michaels