It's the end of an era for the Los Angeles Chargers.
According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the Chargers have informed quarterback Phillip Rivers that they will move on from him after sixteen seasons.
The Chargers have officially parted ways with Phillip Rivers after 16 seasons, per @JayGlazer.— LeadingNFL (@LeadingNFL) January 27, 2020
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported last week that the 38-year-old quarterback moved his family "permanently" from San Diego to Florida. Rivers is a free agent coming off a season where he passed for 4,615 yards and 23 touchdowns, his fewest since 2007, and 20 interceptions.
Philip Rivers and his family “permanently” have moved out of San Diego, the QB confirmed to ESPN this morning.https://t.co/Aj2BZ1H11X— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 19, 2020
Schefter states that the Chargers have been impressed with backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor and may have him start for them next season, which very well may be the case. But, it's hard to believe the Chargers see Taylor as the long-term replacement for Rivers especially when they could have played him last season over him.
Rivers' replacement may not be on the roster yet, and the Chargers may be looking to the upcoming NFL Draft for his heir... Insert, Justin Herbert?
The Chargers own the sixth overall selection in the upcoming draft which aligns with Herbert's projected draft range of inside the top-ten. The Eugene native has found himself in a consensus top-three among the quarterbacks joining LSU's Joe Burrow and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa. The former completed arguably the best college season ever for a quarterback winning the Heisman Trophy, National Championship and breaking the touchdown record for a single season. The latter was the consensus top quarterback in the draft before suffering a season-ending hip injury against Mississippi State.
Herbert impressed scouts and NFL coaches alike last week at the Senior Bowl being named the MVP of both the practices and the game.
Most of the buzz coming out of the Senior Bowl was about Herbert's stellar play which should keep his draft stock high. The event helped Daniel Jones get chosen sixth overall last season after being named MVP of the event. Perhaps history will repeat itself.
Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan raved about Herbert praising his "prototypical size and athletic ability", intelligence, and a "really, really strong arm". His team also owns the first overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. The expectation is that they'll select Joe Burrow, however.
After the Bengals, the next team in need of a quarterback is the Miami Dolphins at No. 5 who infamously appeared to tank the season for a high draft pick. But they had a little too much "Fitzmagic" and received the fifth pick. Speaking of the 37-year-old quarterback, Dolphins general manager expects Ryan Fitzpatrick to return to the team in 2020, so it'd make sense for them to take Tua Tagovaloia and sit him for a season.
That would leave the Chargers on the clock with Justin Herbert as the best quarterback available. Given the rest of the Chargers' roster is loaded with talent, they would want to take advantage of it by getting a high-level quarterback in as soon as possible to make a Super Bowl run. Five of the last eight Super Bowls have had quarterbacks on rookie contracts starting the big game, and it would have been six if Carson Wentz hadn't suffered a torn ACL during the Eagles' championship season.
If Herbert can continue to impress during the draft process at the NFL Combine and his pro day, which by all predictable measures he will, don't be surprised if he's headed to Hollywood.