The contract impasse came to fruition when A.J. Smith gave an ultimatum to Sexton in the form of a public statement that declared the team had made its best offer and would take money away from future deals. Sexton fired back saying the reported deal by Smith was not fact but filled with fiction. The two sides then took a week off from even talking to each other.
Sexton had claimed they were close before the Chargers suddenly broke off negotiations and the first call to the Chargers' offices lasted under a minute last week. When the Chargers told him they had not changed their minds regarding contract talks, the call was over. Sexton then changed tactics and faxed in proposals to get the dialogue started again.
"This is a fair deal for both Philip and the Chargers," said Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith. "We're just happy to have the negotiations behind us and a bright future ahead for Philip, the Chargers and all Charger fans. We're looking forward to getting him on the field and ready for the 2004 season."
Rivers had been tabbed by many, including some within the Chargers organization as the starting quarterback for 2004 but a lengthy contract stalemate between Rivers' agent Jimmy Sexton and the Chargers that caused the former NC State signal caller to miss more than two weeks of camp and 30 practices has made that impossible to start the year.
"It all worked out," Rivers said. "I am just excited to be on a team again."
The team will forge ahead with Drew Brees as their starting quarterback and depending on how quick Rivers can grasp the offense and get in work with the first team will go a long way towards determining when he starts.
There are still rumblings within the organization that say he could become the man sometime during the season if he progresses as expected.
The 6-foot-5 quarterback has a lengthy resume that has been wiped clean as he officially becomes a Charger: