The San Diego Chargers have brought in certain coaches this offseason specifically to help struggling Philip Rivers return to elite status. However, the new regime still may not be fully committed to him.
2013 is the year Rivers’ cap hit reaches peak value at $17.1 million, but that number drops significantly in 2014. With only about $6 million of cap space available, the Chargers could choose to restructure his deal and spread the cap hit more evenly throughout the remainder of the contract. However, the new front office appears hesitant to do so as they may want the option of cutting ties with Rivers after next season if he continues to struggle.
With such a tight cap situation, the team can’t sign the players it needs to fill the numerous holes across the entire roster. If the Chargers are to fairly evaluate Rivers next season, they need to give him the proper supporting cast to see if Rivers is indeed the quarterback they want to commit to.
However, they have been rather quiet in free agency and still have huge roles on their roster. How do they expect Rivers to rebound if the talent around him is subpar yet again next season? General manager Tom Telesco may be building for the future, but needs to do a little more for the present to see if Rivers is in those future plans.
The right move is to restructure Rivers’ deal so they can get more cap space and bring in more talent around him. Though he has struggled, it wasn’t too long ago when Rivers was a league-leader in passing yards and touchdowns when he had guys like LaDainian Tomlinson, Vincent Jackson and Darren Sproles at his disposal, as well as a competent offensive line. If Telesco can add the right pieces in the NFL Draft who can help Rivers, he should return to form. If not, A.J. Smith and even Telesco would be to blame for not doing enough to help Rivers.