Bernie Wilson: ‘Rivers Hasn’t Had Greatest Supporting Cast’

Philip Rivers signed a four-year, $83.25-million extension with the San Diego Chargers on Monday, a deal that includes $65 million in guarantees – the highest in the league.

“Yeah, when you got seven kids and one on the way, you got a lot of diapers, stuff like that,” AP Chargers writer Bernie Wilson said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Can you imagine the mini-van in the Rivers’ (family)? They probably need a stretch hummer to get those kids around. Especially if they got to move to L.A., their gas bills are going to double. But no, good for him. There’s been uncertainty out here, and this was just a little sliver of certainty in an otherwise mad situation. So good for him.”

Rivers’ contract includes a no-trade clause.

“That is absolutely correct,” Wilson said. “So what that does is that’s one up (from previous Chargers). Junior was traded, LT was dumped down the street. Rivers is guaranteed that no matter how it ends, where it ends, he can retire as a Bolt. Nobody would explain how that came about, but he has it. He’ll retire as a Bolt, probably in ’19, maybe sooner. Who knows?”

Rivers, a five-time Pro Bowler, is certainly one of the best quarterbacks in football. In fact, Scott Ferrall believes Rivers is better than Ei Manning, even though Manning has two Super Bowls.

“You probably have a point,” Wilson said, “but the problem is, most people judge a quarterback on how many rings he’s won – and that’s a legitimate comparison. . . . A lot of people think that Rivers is a better QB, but Eli has the rings, Ben Roethlisberger has two rings, Drew Brees has one. There’s a saying that the Chargers make you a star, (but) someone else makes you a champion. Maybe Rivers will be the one to end that. Dan Fouts (was a) great quarterback, (a) Hall of Famer (and) Charger legend. But he never played in a Super Bowl, either – just like Rivers hasn’t. So I guess you can measure a guy both ways.”

Ferrall sees in Rivers a lot of Dustin Johnson – someone who is always in the hunt but never cashes in on the ultimate prize.

“Oh yeah, absolutely,” Wilson said. “For four years after he took over as a starter, they won the AFC West. They fell apart in the playoffs – not due to him, but he just hasn’t exactly had the greatest supporting cast. They had a crash fall against New England, a face plant against the Jets. Then they went thee years without showing up in the playoffs. That got our friend, Norval Eugene Turner fired. Mike McCoy took over and got them back into the playoffs and they won at Cincy, lost to Denver and missed the playoffs last year.

“So far, that’s Philip’s postseason resume,” Wilson continued. “They got close in ’07 when they lost that AFC Championship Game in New England. A lot of people still talk grouse about, ‘Well, if Philip was healthy and Gates were healthy and LT were on the field and not on the sideline,’ but this is football – not correspondence chess. Things have to go well. I love that line because guys get hurt, yet fans (always talk about injuries). But the point is, he’s been in the playoffs, but they – whether it’s bad coaching, whether it’s stupid plays – they just haven’t put it together. Now he’s got five seasons to try to win one.”

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