This season for the LA Chargers has been brutal, and a lot of the issues stem from behind center. Many people will blame the season’s struggles on the numerous injuries when, in reality, every loss has been by a touchdown or less. With Philip Rivers being in the twilight of his career, the franchise needs to find their quarterback of the future.
The Rivers Reality
At 38, Rivers has been a shell of himself this season. Many people believed the Chargers would make a serious run at the Super Bowl this year after last year’s success. That is far from the case. Rivers has quietly thrown the second-most interceptions in the NFL with 14. He only trails Jameis Winston, who has 18. Game sealing interceptions against the Eagles and again against the Chiefs last night have all but eliminated the Chargers from playoff contention with a 4-7 record.
With Rivers’ contract ending after this season, the replacement discussions should have started months ago.
The 2020 Candidate Debate
There are different avenues the Chargers can take to get their quarterback of the future. The most obvious route is the draft, and with their record, they may end up with a top 15 pick. That pick can net a player like Jalen Hurts, Jake Fromm, or Jordan Love.
On the other hand, the Chargers could try to sign a free agent. The biggest names potentially set to hit the market are Teddy Bridgewater and Cam Newton.
Bridgewater excelled while Drew Brees was out and earned himself a lot of looks for next season. Bridgewater led the Saints to a 5-0 record and, most importantly, looked healthy. Newton has been out since week two and has been rehabbing to get his body as close as possible to 100%. If the Panthers decide to move on from Newton, the Chargers should be in contention for his services. A healthy Newton is better than an aging Rivers any day of the week.
Of course, there’s always Colin Kaepernick.
Step-Child of SoFi
The Chargers are moving to the new SoFi Stadium next year and will need to keep fans buying tickets. Being the step-child of the LA teams, along with having an aging quarterback, doesn’t help the marketing department. The Chargers need to bring in a quarterback who will excite the hardcore fans and draw in more casual fans.
While the new stadium will garner initial interest, both occupants need to produce an excellent product to maintain the interest. Landing a franchise quarterback would undoubtedly be a step in the right direction.
GM Tom Telesco and his scouting department have work to do this offseason. Finding a guy to fill the shoes of a future Hall of Fame quarterback won’t be easy. Hopefully, they have been in the planning phase for months.
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