The Los Angeles Chargers continue to do due diligence on young quarterbacks.
The L.A. brass has reportedly met with Patrick Mahomes and Josh Dobbs ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft and will work out DeShone Kizer on Friday, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. It continues a trend from the past several seasons of general manager Tom Telesco and his group working out possible heirs to Philip Rivers.
- 2017 NFL DRAFT
▹ Best and most worrisome picks
▹ Five Teams that improved the most
▹ Day 2 winners and losers
▹ Most intriguing pick of Round 1
▹ Day 1 winners and losers
▹ QB frenzy shakes up Round 1
▹ Draft Do-overs:
▸ 2008 | 2011 | 2014 | 2015
- MARSHAWN LYNCH TRADE
▹ Lynch, Raiders poised for run
▹ Raiders boast NFL's best offense?
The 35-year-old Rivers understands the prudence behind adding a fledgling signal-caller to the quarterback room, but doesn't plan on handing over the reins anytime soon.
"I think it's to be expected they're going to get a young guy in the room to try and develop him and groom him," Rivers told KLSD-AM on Thursday, via ESPN.com. "It doesn't by any means really affect me. I think it's healthy for me. ... This thing doesn't last forever. I have to get to playing better and keep this thing going as long as you can.
"As long as I do that, then whoever it is they bring in here, they're going to sit for a while."
Perhaps if Rivers plays another decade or so he can just hand the job off to one of his eight children?
Despite throwing a career-high 21 interceptions last season, many coming in backbreaking fashion down the stretch of the season, Rivers continues to play at a Pro Bowl level even as his injury-decimated wide receiver corps and his offensive line crumbled. The veteran quarterback hasn't missed a regular-season game since taking over the gig from Drew Brees in 2005.
It's wise for the Chargers to bring in a young quarterback for the future, even if Rivers isn't ready to retire. As the New England Patriots have shown, investing and raising a young quarterback in a scarce market can lead to trade leverage down the road.
If L.A. does bring in a young passer, not much will change for Rivers. The veteran said he's willing to be a mentor, but it isn't his job to coddle a young player.
"I don't think it's my job or anything that I owe somebody," Rivers said. "But it is nature -- coaching -- and I like to think I'm pretty charitable in the sense that I like to help people out, share and talk football.
"So I think if a young guy comes in here, I'm not on the top of my mind going to go, 'Oh, I need to teach this guy.' And yet, I'm not going to be a recluse and say, 'Shoot, I'm not helping him out.' I'm going to share whatever he wants and let him take whatever he likes, and how he can learn to be a pro. So I think it will happen organically without any concerted effort."
Rivers' approach is pretty much what we've seen and heard from Tom Brady over the years. The Patriots' competitive quarterback has never been one to give up reps to the series of young passers brought in, but neither has he been a Brett Favre-level antagonizer.
The focus on the upcoming draft has been on QB-needy teams like the Browns, 49ers, Bears and Jets. Yet, with most draft analysts believing there are no quarterbacks ready to play right away, we could see teams with aging franchise signal-callers -- like the Chargers, Cardinals, Saints and Steelers -- be the ones to snap up developmental passers this year while downtrodden clubs wait until 2018.