Philip Rivers wants to ‘take a deep breath and regroup’ before returning in 2020

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

Philip Rivers knows the end of his football career is around the corner. 

He’s just not ready to hang it up quite yet.

Rivers, who is in the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, said he wants to keep playing for the Chargers next season — which will be the first in SoFi Stadium, the massive new Inglewood stadium set to open next year. He’s just planning to take a breath before making a decision this offseason.

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“I think that is my desire,” Rivers said, via ESPN. “But I do think that it only seems right to say, ‘Alright, let’s take a deep breath and regroup.’ I kept saying, a couple years, a couple years or a handful, and then I went to the, ‘one year at a time.’ And I think that’s where it is, and that only makes sense when your contract is up and you’re going to be 38 here in a few weeks. 

“So I’m just going to have kind of a self and family evaluation of it all, and also know that it’s not solely my decision. If you would’ve asked me and I had two years left [on a contract], I would say, ‘Of course I’m going to play.’ I’m not turning in on them, you know what I mean? So I think it only makes sense. I don’t think this is breaking news, but I think that’s the prudent thing to do and the most reasonable thing. But my intention certainly is to be playing in 2020.” 

Rivers signed a four-year, $83 million deal with the Chargers before the 2015 season, and is set to earn $16 million this year. He’s thrown for more than 2,800 yards and 14 touchdowns so far this season while completing nearly 66 percent of his passes, though he has led the Chargers to just a 4-6 record ahead of Monday night’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City. 

He hasn’t always looked like the player he used to be, but Rivers has definitely had his moments this season. He leads the league in both passing yards and completions, too, but has thrown the third-most interceptions. 

Even though he’s set to turn 38 next month, the Chargers organization still sounds like they’re behind him.

“I feel like Philip can definitely still play that way,” offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said, via ESPN. “You’ve seen this year in stretches where he’s played awesome. He’s just got to continue to play at a high level when he does play that way.”

Rivers has spent his entire 16-year career with the Chargers after being selected No. 4 by the New York Giants in the 2004 NFL draft. He was traded for Eli Manning, almost immediately, and has been with the Chargers ever since.

If he’s going to play for a 17th season, as long as they’ll have him, Rivers wants to stay with the Chargers.

“I think there’s no question that would be my hope,” Rivers said, via ESPN. “It’s a two-way deal, but I do think it’s always been something that would be special to play in the same place your whole career.” 

With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Philip Rivers will take a moment before officially making a decision to return in 2020. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Philip Rivers will take a moment before officially making a decision to return in 2020. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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