Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Chargers’

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Antonio Gates wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to see LaDainian Tomlinson officially become football royalty.

After several days of uncertainty about whether Gates would be at his former teammate’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday – uncertainty that started after a report suggested the Chargers wouldn’t let Gates and Philip Rivers miss training camp to attend – the veteran tight end ultimately got the green light.

But that’s not to say he was really seeking permission. As Gates told Marty Caswell of Mighty 1090 before the ceremony got underway, he was prepared to make the trip to Canton, Ohio even if the Chargers fined him for a brief training-camp absence.

“Absolutely,” Gates said. “I would’ve paid the fine twice to be here.”

Rivers didn’t join Gates for Saturday night’s induction ceremony, but the quarterback did pass along a congratulatory video message recorded from the end zone where Tomlinson broke the single-season touchdown record in 2006.

The star trio combined to lead a stellar offense in that season and each of the three that followed, posting top-five scoring finishes and capturing AFC West titles in four straight years.

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Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn is blocking veterans Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates from attending the Aug. 5 Hall of Fame induction ceremony for their former teammate, LaDainian Tomlinson, sources told Alex Marvez of Sporting News.

Lynn is insisting that Rivers and Gates participate in the Chargers’ training camp session instead, adds Marvez, which will be their first at StubHub Center.

Gates is still considering attending the ceremony despite Lynn’s wishes, even if he’s fined, one source told Marvez.

Marvez notes that it’s common for teams to grant exceptions for active players to attend Hall of Fame ceremonies for former teammates, pointing to the Arizona Cardinals allowing Larry Fitzgerald to miss practice for Kurt Warner’s induction this weekend.

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Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates have been synonymous with the Chargers for nearly 15 years, but the dynamic duo is still ringless as the end of their careers loom.

Running back Melvin Gordon said Friday on NFL Network that Los Angeles is motivated to help the team’s two eldest statesmen earn a Super Bowl title before they hang up their cleats.

“Father Time is coming with my boy (Antonio) Gates and (Philip Rivers),” Gordon said, according to NFL.com’s Jeremy Bergman. “It would mean a lot to get those guys that ring before they step down, especially Gates. I think we might lose him after this year; you never know with Gates. But it would be love to have him walk away with a ring and put that stamp on his career, so that’s definitely what we want.”

The 37-year-old Gates flirted with retirement this offseason, but ultimately opted to return, likely partly due to being one score away from breaking a tie with Tony Gonzalez for the most touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history.

While Rivers, 35, appears to have a larger window in which to capture his elusive first title, it’s possible the move away from San Diego to L.A. will cause him to question how much longer he wants to play.

Gordon will need to continue his ascension if the Chargers are to emerge as contenders. In 2016, the third-year back rebounded from a disappointing rookie season in which he failed to score a touchdown by finding the end zone 12 times and falling three yards short of 1,000 rushing yards due to a late-season injury.

Now, Gordon has his sights on adding some bling to his hand after getting a look at New England Patriots running back James White‘s ring collection.

“Winning season, man. We want a Super Bowl,” Gordon explained. “My boy James White, he has two of those things. I go to his apartment and you open up the little case and they’ve got the light flashing on the ring. All you can think about is I wish that could be me.”

 NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
 

The end of Philip Rivers‘ illustrious career is looming, but the star quarterback is hoping to stick around long enough with the Chargers to play in their new stadium in Los Angeles, which is set to open in three years.

Rivers told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that he has no plans to walk away from football anytime soon, despite the move away from San Diego.

“I hope to still be playing football in 2020, and certainly I hope I’m still playing here,” Rivers said, according to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams. “So yeah, I hope to get to see that stadium then. That’s a long way out. I’ve learned to just take them one year at a time and one game at a time at this point. I’m certainly thankful I’ve been able to be out there for all of them since 2006.

“I don’t take that for granted. And hopefully I’m still playing well enough and we’ve won enough football games that I will be able to trot out there in 2020 in that new stadium.”

Rivers will turn 39 near the end of the 2020 season, and while his physical skills have begun to show signs of decline, his style is suited to a career that extends into his 40s if he wishes.

And while Rivers’ loyalty to San Diego means the relocation to L.A. has likely been a tough adjustment, the veteran pivot is excited for a new challenge at this stage of his playing days.

“I really am excited about embracing this chapter, both from an organizational standpoint and then personally in my career,” Rivers said. “It’s a new market and new fan base. I do think over time, at least it seems like more and more of the fans that we’ve had that are in San Diego are kind of getting more and more warmed up and excited.

“I’ve had a bunch of people tell me, ‘We’re coming up and we’ll be up there for a game.’ I think if we can get it going we truly can be – and I know the Rams are already up there – but it’s kind of Southern California’s team right there in L.A.”

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According to the NFL, it’s much cheaper to move to Las Vegas than to Los Angeles.

The Rams and Chargers, who will both be playing in L.A., will pay $645 million between December 2019 and December 2028, while the Raiders will pay $378 million over 10 years to relocate to Las Vegas, sources told ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The 29 NFL teams who are not or have not relocated to Los Angeles or Las Vegas are taking home a hefty profit from those who are.

Each team will receive a sum of $55.2 million over an 11-year period stemming from the relocation fees paid by the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders.

The Green Bay Packers released their projected net sum from the relocation fees as $27.1 million, accounting for present value of money over time and taxes, at a recent shareholders meeting.

NFL: New York Giants at San Diego Chargers

Entering his 14th season in the NFL, Philip Rivers has put together a potential Hall of Fame-worthy career.

While the Los Angeles Chargers quarterback doesn’t plan on ending his run soon, he’ll walk away from the game if he’s no longer able to contribute on the field.

“I don’t want hang on at the end and just be a guy that’s hanging on,” Rivers told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on his podcast. “But if I still feel like I can help a team and I enjoy it the way I do and more importantly, if the team feels that I can help them. …

“I don’t see myself shutting it down any time real soon.”

Rivers, 35, has three years remaining on his current contract and hasn’t been discouraged from continuing with the Chargers as they relocate to Hollywood this season.

“I’m excited about the challenge and the newness and the unknown that’s going to come with being in a new community and playing in a new stadium,” said Rivers. “But we’re going to still have that bolt on my helmet and I’m excited about what’s ahead.”

Rivers has a plan once he does finally decide to end his playing career, however, as he hopes to coach his sons’ high school football teams. Though, that could be some time away considering that his oldest boy is only 9 years old.

LA Chargers Draft Party.

While they are a Los Angeles team in name, the Chargers have yet to leave San Diego.

The Chargers continue to hold their offseason workouts at Chargers Park in San Diego. It makes for an awkward situation for all parties involved, but general manager Tom Telesco won’t accept it as an excuse for poor results.

“No. 1 you embrace it – I think that’s the biggest thing,” Telesco said on The Mighty 1090 AM, according to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams. “There’s no excuses, no explanations. You just get your work done.”

The Chargers will begin their relocation to L.A. in the summer and into the fall, but for the time being, their focus is on OTAs and training camp.

“For us on the football side right now, it’s been business as usual,” Telesco said.

“It’s a new beginning. It’s a new chapter for everybody in this business, both professionally and personally. But we have a pretty strong group of guys. Last year was a difficult year on the field with the win-loss record, but I was proud of the players as far as how they handled last year mentally. I think we have a pretty strong-minded group, and we’ll be able to handle the move up there.”

After 57 seasons in San Diego, the Chargers will play the 2017 campaign at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. while their next home in Inglewood is under construction.