For quarterback Philip Rivers, calling himself a Charger to start and end his career outweighed all other uncertainty, including whether the organization would be in San Diego or Los Angeles in the years to come.
Living in San Diego may have mattered before – he said as much over the offseason, that he wasn’t sure he wanted to remain with the team if it moved two hours north – but that’s neither here nor there now.
“I’m going to be a Charger, wherever we are,” Rivers said Monday.
Indeed he will, as he inked a four-year, $84-million contract extension with the organization about a half hour after making that statement.
He also expressed that there’s still things he can’t control.
He said his (seven) kids were excited for him, but also asked: “But where are we going to live?"
To which he replied:
“We don't know right now. We're going to live here this year.”
That will have to be good enough for now.
At a press conference to announce his extension, general manager Tom Telesco likened Rivers to Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, who also spent his entire career with the organization.
“This is a very important day in the history of the Chargers,” Telesco added, praising Rivers’ class, character and humility, and emphasizing his ability to lead the organization to a Lombardi Trophy (something that's never been done in its history).
Rivers -- who confirmed Monday that his new deal has a no-trade clause -- said this is a relief of sorts, to put the contract talk behind him and just focus on football. The fiery competitor is in his 12th year in the NFL and has started every game since becoming the starting quarterback in 2006. He’s thrown for more than 4,000 yards in six of his nine seasons as a starter and has taken the Chargers to the playoffs five times.
Although he remains, there is a good chance many of the “core” players he came up with (that still exist in the locker room) will soon be gone, like Eric Weddle and Antonio Gates. In the offseason, wide receiver Malcom Floyd already announced that he would be retiring after this season.
Jokingly, Rivers said he told him Monday that he’d be "begging him to come back," (and knowing Floyd, there just might be a chance that happens).
For an Alabama native who prioritizes faith, family and football, spending his entire career with one organization is “very special.”
"I'm just very thankful and honored that I'm going to have the opportunity to continue to be quarterback here,” he said.
Wherever “here” is.