Tyrod Taylor front-runner to be Chargers' starting QB, Anthony Lynn says

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Tyrod Taylor is the front-runner to succeed Philip Rivers as the Los Angeles Chargers starting quarterback, coach Anthony Lynn said Wednesday.

At least for now.

"I brought him in last year and I knew that if we needed him to start, if something happened to Phil, then he could go in and start," Lynn said about Taylor, who is entering the second season of a two-year, $11 million contract. "I'm very familiar with Tyrod. I would say right now it looks like he's in the driver's seat, but no position is final until we get to training camp right now."

Taylor has mostly served as an NFL backup, except for a three-year run as starter for the Buffalo Bills, where he completed 63% of his passes and threw 51 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,575 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Entering free agency, the Chargers cleared salary-cap space with the hope of landing Tom Brady, but the six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback signed instead with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton remains available on the free-agent market.

Lynn praised Newton's ability on Wednesday after initially avoiding a question about the Chargers' interest in the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

"Cam's a good quarterback, he's done a lot of good things with the Panthers, led them to a Super Bowl," Lynn said. "He's had some injuries. If he's healthy, he's going to be a good quarterback for somebody."

When asked directly if the Chargers had interest in Newton, Lynn said, "We're looking at everybody. I want to turn over every single rock, so yeah, we're looking at everybody."

A nine-year NFL veteran, Newton led the Panthers to the Super Bowl in the 2015 season and was named the NFL MVP. However Newton, who turns 31 next month, has dealt with shoulder and foot injuries.

The Chargers also could look to the NFL draft later this month to find their future franchise quarterback.

The Chargers own the sixth overall pick, and although they are unlikely to have the opportunity to select top QB prospects Joe Burrow or Tua Tagovailoa, there are several other prospects who are projected to have promising futures, including Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason, Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts.