The Los Angeles Chargers will have a new quarterback next season. On Monday, the team announced 16-year veteran Philip Rivers will not return to the team as both parties agreed to part ways. Rivers will be a free agent in March and he can sign with any team.
"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," team General Manager Tom Telesco said in a press release. "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.
"We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020.
"I've said before that Philip can still compete at a top-starter level and, in a perfect world, number 17 is your quarterback forever. Obviously, we live in an imperfect world where the only constant is change. I think Philip's tremendous perspective, both when it comes to football and when it comes to life, helped lend clarity to a very complex situation."
Rivers was drafted No. 4 overall in 2004 out of NC State. He put together a strong career as a member of the Chargers, being named to the Pro Bowl eight times, winning the Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2013 and he's a member of the Chargers 50th Anniversary team.
"I am very grateful to the Spanos family and the Chargers organization for the last 16 years," Rivers said. "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.
"I never took for granted the opportunity to lead this team out on to the field for 235 games. We had a lot of great moments, beginning in San Diego and then finishing in LA. I wish my teammates and coaches nothing but the best moving forward."
In his career, Rivers have thrown for 59,271 yards, 397 touchdowns and has a passer rating of 95.1. He ranks sixth all-time in passing yards and touchdowns.