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Philip Rivers: New contract likely would’ve happened even if Chargers moved to Los Angeles

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

A few short months ago, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers declined to commit to a long-term deal with the potential of the franchise moving to Los Angeles. But late on Saturday, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Rivers agreed to an extension.

Considering the team’s future remains in flux, it was a surprising decision. In appearance on The Mighty 1090, though, Rivers admitted a new contract likely would’ve happened regardless of the Chargers’ location.

Rivers probably wanted leverage in the discussions, and he used the threat of once-impending free agency as his ace. The 33-year-old’s new deal guarantees he remains with the Chargers through the 2019 season.

Plus, it appears that San Diego is staying in, well, San Diego. The St. Louis Rams are more likely to leave their current location than the Chargers or Oakland Raiders, so it’s quite possible Rivers dons nothing other than the blue and gold during his NFL career.

He’s not a perfect player, but Rivers is a legitimate franchise quarterback. San Diego wouldn’t have found a better option in free agency or the draft, so locking him up was essential.

Rivers, who hasn’t missed a game in nine seasons as the full-time starter, has thrown for at least 4,000 yards in six of the last seven seasons, racking up 26 touchdowns or more in each year.