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Some think Rivers is down to his last chance in San Diego

Cincinnati Bengals v San Diego Chargers

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 2: Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 2, 2012 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Chargers lost to the Bengals 20-13. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

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Every new G.M. wants his own coach. And every new coach wants his own quarterback.

There’s an asterisk that applies to that school of thought. If the quarterback that a new coach has inherited lands on the short list of NFL franchise quarterbacks, the new coach has no issue with the status quo.

The biggest question in San Diego is whether Philip Rivers still falls on the presumptive do-not-cut-trade-or-bench list. Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego believes 2013 will be Rivers’ “final audition” with the Chargers. Tom Adams of the same publication believes that, if Rivers is indeed playing for his job, he’ll pass the test.

So do we. (Or at least I.)

Still only 31, Rivers continues to put up solid numbers on an annual basis. The problem in recent years has been that the Chargers don’t have the pieces around him. Vincent Jackson left, and former G.M. A.J. Smith signed Robert Meachem to replace Jackson. (Key word: former.) The offensive line has progressively gotten worse, the running game gradually has diminished, and the defense isn’t what it used to be.

So Rivers remains one of the few bright spots on an otherwise spotty roster. And if the Chargers aren’t interested in keeping him around, it’s safe to say he’d bring in something more than a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2014.