PHOENIX -- After days of speculation that the team was ready to move on from Philip Rivers, the San Diego Chargers finally went on the offensive, with general manager Tom Telesco putting to rest rumors that the 33-year-old quarterback was on the trading block.
Telesco's unwillingness to part ways with Rivers, who's heading into the final year of his deal, is about common sense. The Chargers know they can win with Rivers and have no potential replacement that can perform at his level currently on their roster, through the draft, a trade or free agency.
Telesco and Chargers coach Mike McCoy are in Year 3 of building San Diego into a sustainable playoff contender. The two believe with the way the roster is currently constructed that the Chargers can compete with the Denver Broncos for an AFC West crown and ultimately make a Super Bowl run.
But those goals go out the window by trading Rivers for a handful of draft picks with a team like the Tennessee Titans in order to move up to No. 2 overall and select a developmental quarterback such as Marcus Mariota.
While talented, Mariota is likely a few years away from leading an NFL team to the playoffs. And he's not a fit for what San Diego likes to do scheme-wise, based on how offensive coordinator Frank Reich has designed the offense.
Yes, we can connect the dots with the Titans. Former San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is there, along with Rivers' good buddy Charlie Whitehurst, who serves as a backup quarterback for the Titans.
Living in Nashville, a little more than 100 miles from Rivers' hometown of Decatur, Alabama, would give the NC State product the stability he seeks for his wife Tiffany and seven children.
But the Chargers are not giving up on Rivers because he means too much to the success of their franchise. He's durable, sets the tone in the building and is one of a handful of quarterbacks in the NFL who gives you a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter with the ball in his hands.