Cleat Geeks

The “Rivers” Are Flowing in San Diego

philip-rivers-nflWith his new deal Philip Rivers becomes the highest-salaried quarterback in the NFL without a Super Bowl ring. The new deal, which keeps Rivers in southern California through 2019, adds $83.25 million in total value to his existing contract. Rivers earns an average of approximately $20.8 million per year during the length of the extension, ranking just behind Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger.

But there are some questions surrounding Rivers, and the Chargers much address some problems with their team now that Rivers is signed or it will all be for naught. Such as keeping Rivers upright,last season, the team played only one game with its five preferred starting offensive lineman as the interior imploded behind a rash of injuries. No position endured as much hardship as center, where the Chargers became the only team since the NFL-AFL merger to start five different players at the center position. As a result, Rivers took 36 sacks and absorbed even more hits without the football. By the end of 2014, the quarterback was gutting through a severe rib injury and a bulging disk in his lower back, and his play suffered accordingly.

With a new season on the horizon, many of the protection concerns still remain. Telesco addressed the offensive line in free agency, signing the versatile Orlando Franklin away from division rival Denver, but the core of the group that struggled throughout last season remains intact. Additionally, the Chargers expect rookie Melvin Gordon to play extensively as the lone running back in the backfield. If Gordon struggles in pass protection, as most rookies do, Rivers could, with all these issues compounded together, see an increase in body blows during the season.

Antonio+Gates+Philip+Rivers+Kansas+City+Chiefs+YJf9OregArElRivers still lacks a #1 wideout to take pressure off of Antonio Gates. The All-Pro tight end can still perform at a high level, but he will miss the first four games of the upcoming season due to suspension and becomes a free agent next off-season.

Yes, the Chargers have addressed the elephant in the room. But you can not build a successful circus on one main attraction. Football is a team sport, and in order to be successful you must build a team. You have solidified the leader, but now you have to finish filling out the needs of the team.

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