Philip Rivers, Chargers mutually part ways after 16 NFL seasons together

Philip Rivers, Chargers mutually part ways after 16 NFL seasons together

It's the end of an era in the AFC West. The Chargers announced Monday that the team and 16-year quarterback Philip Rivers have decided to mutually part ways. 

Rivers, 38, will enter free agency this offseason. 

"There's only one Philip Rivers, and we've been fortunate to call him our QB1 for the better part of two decades," the team wrote in a statement. "We cannot thank Philip enough for giving it his all on every single down and for the memories he created that will last a lifetime."

Rivers has spent his entire career playing for the Chargers. He made his NFL debut against the Raiders in 2006 and has faced the Silver and Black 27 times. The gunslinger was the No. 4 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has an 18-9 career record against the Raiders with 47 touchdown passes -- his most against any opponent -- and 22 interceptions.

Rivers played in all 16 games last season as the Chargers went just 5-11. He threw for 4,615 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. 

[RELATED: Carr unfazed by questions on Raiders future, brother says]

The Chargers hold the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and could target a QB like Oregon's Justin Herbert, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa or many others. 

One thing is for certain, though. As the Raiders move to Las Vegas, one of their biggest nemesis ever will be in a new home. 

49ers' dominance of Packers has Za'Darius Smith searching for solution

49ers' dominance of Packers has Za'Darius Smith searching for solution

The 49ers dominated the Green Bay Packers during the regular season, and followed that up with arguably an even more impressive performance in the NFC Championship Game. San Francisco led Green Bay 23-0 at halftime in Week 12 on its way to a 37-8 win. The Packers added 12 points to their final total in the NFC Championship Game, but the 49ers put that one away by halftime, too, leading 27-0 after two quarters.

Days after San Francisco clinched its trip to Miami to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur lamented his team's lack of urgency and toughness in the playoff loss at Levi's Stadium. A few days ahead of the big game, Packers Pro-Bowl edge rusher Za'Darius Smith echoed a similar sentiment of regret and didn't deflect the blame.

"We didn’t come ready to play," Smith said during an appearance on PFT Live. "I don’t know if everybody was sleeping, but I can tell you for myself that I wasn’t ready to play either. ... We weren’t ready to play football."

In addition to both matchups with San Francisco, Green Bay made one other trip out to the West Coast this past season, a 26-11 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9. That means that over the three games the Packers played in the Pacific time zone in 2019, they were outscored 100-39 and outgained by an average of 133 total yards per contest. Sensing a theme, Smith mentioned it might be a good idea for Green Bay to reconsider its travel schedule for games on the West Coast moving forward.

Looking ahead, the Packers will play only one regular-season road game in the Pacific time zone next year.

Guess who the opponent is?

[RELATED: Kittle identifies key in 49ers going from 0-9 in '17 to SB]

That's right. The defending NFC -- and potentially Super Bowl LIV -- champions.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (8:30 p.m. Thursday, 9:30 p.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. Saturday).

Also tune in at 1 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday for a two-hour special of "49ers Pregame Live" with Laura Britt, Donte Whitner, Jeff Garcia, Ian Williams, Kelli Johnson, Greg Papa and Grant Liffmann. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on "49ers Postgame Live," starting immediately after the game.

NFL rumors: Chargers have 'moved on' from longtime QB Philip Rivers

NFL rumors: Chargers have 'moved on' from longtime QB Philip Rivers

For 14 seasons, the Raiders and Philip Rivers have been rivals. Rivers' first NFL start fittingly came against the Raiders in 2006, his third professional season. 

That rivalry might be done, though. The Athletic's Jay Glazer said Monday on FS1's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" that the Los Angeles Chargers have "moved on" from Rivers. 

Rivers, 38, will become a free agent this upcoming offseason. The 16-year veteran has spent his entire career for the Chargers, but it's unknown if he will continue playing in 2020. He already has moved his large family to Florida this offseason. 

The gunslinger was the No. 4 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has an 18-9 career record against the Raiders with 47 touchdown passes -- his most against any opponent -- and 22 interceptions.

[RELATED: Carr 'looking forward' to being Raiders' QB in Vegas opener]

If the Chargers do move on from Rivers, they could try to grab a QB early in the 2020 draft. The Bolts own the No. 6 pick, and our own Josh Schrock has them taking Oregon's Justin Herbert in the first round. 

As the Raiders move to Las Vegas, it could be the end of an era with their Philip Rivers rivalry.