Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Its been a good off season to be a quarterback, as Phillip Rivers is set to become the third QB to sign an extension averaging at least $10 million (not to mention the monster rookie salaries for Stafford and Sanchez). Rivers deal will guarantee him about $38 million, and have a total value of $92 million over the next 6 years. While it doesn't exceed Eli Manning's new deal (6 years $97.5 million) in overall value, it does give Rivers the leg up in one area, guaranteed money (Manning only has about $35 million guaranteed). These two players will always be linked to one another after the draft day drama that ensued in 2004. Five years later Rivers still can't get the best of Manning. Rivers has the stats, but Manning has the all important ring (plus the money).
San Diego had to make this deal to lock up Rivers. Last year he was one of the top quarterbacks in the league and he was entering the final year of his rookie deal. Had they not signed him now his price would have only gone up. Although they could have kept him with a Franchise tag next year, it would have cost well over what they will be paying him now. The Chargers did a good job not panicking and overpaying Rivers. Given his stats there is a case to be made that he should have made more or at least just as much as Manning did in his deal. San Diego held firm and saved themselves a few million for their trouble.
Rivers will now need to take the Chargers to the next level and bring home a Super Bowl victory to show that he really is a "Franchise Quarterback". This deal also shows how 2004 may be close to replacing 1983 as the "Year of the Quarterback". With all the respect in the world to Elway, Marino, and Kelly, they could very well be out'classed' (bad pun I know). Though they are three Hall of Famers, set records and went to a combined 10 Super Bowls, the class of '83 managed to win just two rings (both by Elway). Already the class of 2004 have won 3 of the 5 Super Bowls since they were drafted (2 by Ben Roethlisberger to go along with Manning's) and they are just getting started. Roethlisberger, Manning and and Rivers are among the elite quarterbacks in the league (not to mention highest paid), and all lead perennial playoff contenders. When its all said and done, the 2004 draft class will shape the first two decades of the 21st century, more than '83 class shaped the 80's and 90's.