If you are a season ticket holder of the San Diego Chargers these days, you are likely thinking two things right about now.
First, can I get any money for my tickets to the final home games with Carolina and Oakland?
Secondly, do I want Philip Rivers to be my team’s QB come next season as I renew (cough cough) my season tickets?
You remember it was not too long ago that the Chargers and Rivers agreed to a long-term deal, a deal essentially to the tune of some $92 million over six years. Of that amount, close to $40 million was offered in guaranteed money.
So, with four weeks left in the 2012 regular season, Rivers and the Chargers have the following to mull over:
* Chargers have lost seven of their last eight games, including blowing second half leads in the last two homes games to Baltimore and Cincinnati;
* Chargers are all but eliminated from the AFC playoff race at 4-8;
* The last two home games have been blacked out, with Carolina (Dec. 16) almost a certainty to make it three straight;
* Head coach Norv Turner and/or general manager AJ Smith are all but out of San Diego after the regular season;
* After 12 games this season, Rivers has thrown for 2,969 yards (65.3 passer rating), 18 TD’s and 15 interceptions.
So, where do things go from here?
The problem (one of) that the Chargers face is they will probably win one or two games this month, finish at 6-10 for the season, then be saddled with a so-so pick in next spring’s first round of the NFL Draft.
Now, what if the Chargers could package a deal next spring or after this season ends and move up in the next draft? Would a deal involving Rivers even be something to contemplate for both management and Charger fans? That is if Rivers is still healthy when the season ends.
Another four sacks in the loss to the Bengals last weekend left the North Carolina State product with 36 on the season. Between a bad offensive line and his inability to scramble, Rivers (27,254 career yards passing, 181 TD’s, 93 interceptions) has been targeted more this season than Lindsay Lohan by the paparazzi.
The fourth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Rivers would have wound up with the New York Giants to begin his career, but was traded to the Chargers, who had chosen Eli Manning with the 1st overall pick. For most Charger fans, they know the rest of the story.
While Manning has won a pair of Super Bowls since joining the Giants, Rivers has made it to an AFC Championship game.
Yes, an inept offensive line has oftentimes been the downfall of Rivers in games, but he also has thrown some horrific passes over the last two seasons, leading some to question his ability to lead the team.
If the Chargers could package a deal that meant sending Rivers packing for a young up-and-coming QB, should the team pull the trigger and start over again at that position?
While there do not appear to be any QB’s coming out in the shape or form of an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, some of those likely to play at the next level (starters or holding a clipboard) include: Matt Barkley (USC), Geno Smith (West Virginia), Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) and Landry Jones (Oklahoma).
Yes, none of those names exactly roll off the tongue when you think of rookie QB’s leading an NFL team next fall.
As it appears now, Rivers will be the man when training camp opens next July.
The big question will be…. who will be his coach and general manager?