Who will step in to replace Philip Rivers for the Chargers?

Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers and the Chargers will part ways this offseason, so might the team turn to as they replace him?

The writing seemed to be on the wall already. But on Monday, via the team’s website, the Los Angeles Chargers and Philip Rivers confirmed the veteran signal caller will hit free agency and will not be back with the team for the 2020 season.

Rivers has spent all 16 seasons of his career with the Chargers, including the last 14 as the starting quarterback. He also started every game for the team over that span, with 224 straight regular season starts as well as 11 playoff starts.

So the Chargers will officially be in the market for a quarterback this offseason, with multiple interesting veteran options (Tom Brady? Cam Newton? Jameis Winston?) out there. Backup Tyrod Taylor should be back on the second year of his two-year deal, and he was a functional starter in the league with the Buffalo Bills. Easton Stick, a fifth-round pick in 2019 out of North Dakota State, may have a place on the 2020 depth chart too.

But looking further and focusing on this year’s draft, who might the Chargers replace Rivers with?

With the sixth overall pick in April’s draft, the Chargers will be in position to draft Oregon’s Justin Herbert and a lot of current mock drafts have them doing just that. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa could also be an option, but he has injury concerns coming off a significant hip injury and his rookie NFL season is likely to be a get-healthy redshirt year. The Chargers may also find themselves in a position to trade down and accumulate more picks, if another team really covets Herbert and they simply don’t.

As of now the Chargers will go on the clock again early in the second round, at No. 37 overall. If they pass on Herbert, and there’s a decent case to do so in order to address another need if they don’t take an opportunity that may come to trade down, Utah State’s Jordan Love, Washington’s Jacob Eason and Georgia’s Jake Fromm could be available and on the radar for general manager Tom Telesco.

Based on simply not really needing to, the Chargers never did anything significant to try to replace Rivers or even draft his eventual successor. But luckily there are a lot of options out there for them this offseason, and combinations within all those options that could be pursued.

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