Not surprisingly, Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco isn’t ruling anything out.
“Pretty happy with our quarterback room,” Telesco said in his pre-draft press conference Monday, via video from the team website. “But you have to [keep an open mind about drafting a quarterback]. . . .You always have to be looking toward the future. That’s just natural with where Philip is. But Philip had a career year last year, and he’s really showing no signs of descending. We’re very happy with Tyrod. We feel like we have two starting-level NFL quarterbacks, which is important for us right now. We have a good football team and now we have two quarterbacks we feel like we can win with, and we also have Cardale [Jones], who we still think has the developmental qualities we like a lot. So it’s a good group right now.”
Rivers was an MVP candidate part of last season, completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 4,308 yards with 32 touchdowns and a 105.5 passer rating. He made his eighth Pro Bowl, though he withdrew with an ankle injury.
“He’s playing at a really high level right now,” Telesco said. “My expectation is he’s going to be here awhile. I haven’t seen any different.”
Rivers is entering his 16th NFL season. He previously has said he wants to play through at least 2020, so he can open the team’s new stadium in September.
The Chargers expect to extend Rivers’ deal. He has one year remaining on his current contract, paying him $11 million in base salary this season and counting $23 million against the salary cap.
“I’m grateful for each year. I really am. I’m grateful for every year that he’s playing,” Telesco said. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t look long term and see what the solution is down the road. But I’m grateful for every year. I don’t know if it was a career year last year, but it was certainly close.”