San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers Should Take A Pay Cut If He Struggles In 2013

By Kenny Gardner
Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers signed quarterback Philip Rivers to a seven year extension worth $98.25 million and he has three years left on his deal for $47.85 million.

Rivers was one of the elite quarterbacks from 2008-10, but struggled at times in 2011 and 2012. In 2008, Rivers led the NFL in QB rating and his 34 touchdown passes were tied for first with New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees.  Rivers ranked third in the NFL in QB rating, sixth in TD passes, eighth in passing yards and led San Diego to a 13-3 record in 2009, which was their last playoff appearance.

Rivers led the league with 4,710 passing yards, ranked third in QB rating and fifth in TD passes in 2010, when his three leading receivers from 2009 combined to miss 22 games.

The 2011 season was a battle when Rivers’ 20 interceptions were tied for third with Rex Grossman. Rivers also lost five fumbles that season.  Rivers cut down on his interceptions and had 15 in 2012, but had seven fumbles for a total of 47 turnovers over the last two seasons which ranks second in the NFL.

San Diego’s offensive line ranked fourth in sacks allowed last season so they deserve some of the blame for Rivers’ struggles at times, but Rivers had more turnovers in 2011 when they ranked eighth in fewest sacks allowed.  San Diego’s offensive line also ranked third in fewest QB hits allowed during the 2011 season.

Rivers will have two years left on his deal after 2013 worth $15 million in 2014 and $15.75 million in 2015.  If Rivers struggles in 2013, he should offer to take a pay cut for the team to go after a wide receiver in free agency.

Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks could be free agents after the 2013 season.  The New York Giants may decide to use the franchise tag on one of them and try to re-sign the other, but using the franchise tag on one means that Cruz or Nicks will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2013 season.

Jeremy Maclin and Mike Williams could also hit the free agent market after the 2013 season.  If San Diego’s front office wants to sign a free agent who could be a number one receiver in the right system, they will ask Rivers to take a pay cut or restructure his deal after the 2013 season.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks and he restructured his deal so the team could have more cap space, so it may be time for Rivers to do the same after this season.

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