San Diego Chargers franchise quarterback Philip Rivers enters the final year of his contract.
The Chargers want to extend the deal. Rivers does not.
It’s not a money issue. It’s more of a Los Angeles issue.
The Chargers are considering a move to Carson, a Los Angeles suburb, and Rivers wants nothing to do with the possible relocation.
“Him not wanting to go to L.A. is very valid,” former teammate LaDainian Tomlinson said on the NFL Network earlier this week.
Rivers, a conservative Republican from Alabama who endorsed Rick Santorum during the 2012 primary process, isn’t an L.A. kind of guy. “I am supporting Rick Santorum for president because of his stance on issues that attack vital Christian values our country was founded upon: no abortion, upholding traditional marriage, defending religious freedom, no euthanasia,” Rivers declared in 2012. A devout Catholic and father of seven, Philips finds San Diego, one of the few right-leaning coastal areas in California, more his speed. For a man so devout he refrained from premarital sex, “La-La Land” just isn’t his cup of sweet tea.
“What we’ve established here with my growing family is hard to recreate,” Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune on March 16. “It’s hard to up and recreate that. I know that moves are part of life. But that certainly is fair to say that [not being sold on moving to Los Angeles] is part of it. The good thing is I’m not under contract in a year where we’d potentially be in Los Angeles.”
In other words, if he has to move his large, close-knit family, it’s not going to be to the land of red carpets and limousine liberals.
If he must move from San Diego, he and his wife Tiffany, also from Alabama, would want to go back to their Southern roots, with the quarterback-needy Tennessee Titans likely at the top of their list. Rivers’s former offensive coordinator with the Chargers, Ken Whisenhunt, now serves as the head coach of the Titans.
Rumors whisper that Rivers could be traded to the Titans for the second pick of the 2015 draft. This would allow the Chargers to draft a quarterback, perhaps Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, to take over for Rivers.
The Chargers don’t want to trade Rivers. But if they think their future lies in Los Angeles, and Rivers doesn’t want to go there, they might as well get something for him before his contract expires.
San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy downplayed the impact of the geographic uncertainty on his roster when Breitbart Sports caught up with him last month at the annual NFL owners meetings.
“A number of our players—Brandon Flowers, King Dunlap—when they re-signed here, they talked about that it’s not going to affect them at all,” McCoy told Breitbart Sports. “We’re going to go out there and play football games. And then other people will make certain decisions in the future on where we’re going to be.”
He name-dropped two solid but far from superstar players. He avoided mention of the face of his franchise.
Does Tomlinson expect his good friend to play on the Chargers this season?
“No, I don’t,” Tomlinson told the NFL Network.
You see, unlike Randy Newman, Philip Rivers doesn’t love L.A.