Rivers confident of new deal

Updated: August 5, 2009, 7:51 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- News of Eli Manning's six-year, $97.5 million contract extension was duly noted in San Diego, where Philip Rivers is in the last year of his deal.

Rivers
Rivers

Manning was briefly the property of the Chargers on draft day 2004, before being traded to the Giants for Rivers and a handful of picks.

Rivers said after Wednesday morning's practice that he's optimistic he'll be in San Diego for a long time.

There apparently hasn't been much movement on talks between Rivers' agent and the Chargers regarding an extension.

"We really haven't talked much about it," said Rivers, who had more passing yards (4,009) and touchdown passes (34) than Manning last season. "When talks pick up, you'll know. Until then, my focus is on helping this team get better."

Manning, though, has something Rivers doesn't -- a Super Bowl ring. The third member of the Big Three quarterbacks from the 2004 draft class, Ben Roethlisberger, has won two Super Bowls.

The Chargers haven't even been to the Super Bowl since Rivers became the starter in 2006. They made it to the AFC Championship Game two years ago before losing to the New England Patriots.

Manning's deal sets a new market for quarterback contracts and may have indirectly put more money in Rivers' pocket.

The Chargers have several key players with expiring contracts, including outside linebacker Shawne Merriman and left tackle Marcus McNeill. Rivers' extension would seem to be the team's top priority.

Rivers' agent, Jimmy Sexton, didn't return an e-mail seeking comment Wednesday. Chargers general manager A.J. Smith didn't return a call.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press