Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers mutually agreed to part ways after 16 seasons, allowing the quarterback to enter free agency this off-season.
Rivers and the Chargers jointly announced the news Monday, with general manager Tom Telesco saying the timing of the decision will "allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020."
"After stepping back a bit from last season, we reconnected with Philip and his representatives to look at how 2019 played out, assess our future goals, evaluate the current state of the roster and see if there was a path forward that made sense for both parties," Telesco said in a statement. "As we talked through various scenarios, it became apparent that it would be best for Philip and the Chargers to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run.
"We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020."
Rivers, 38, signaled last month that his time with the Chargers was coming to an end when he "permanently" moved his family from San Diego to Florida.
Rivers, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, passed for 4,615 yards with 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions last season. The 23 passing scores marked his fewest since the 2007 campaign.
"I am very grateful to the Spanos family and the Chargers organization for the last 16 years," Rivers said in a statement. "In anything you do, it's the people you do it with that make it special. There are so many relationships and memories with coaches, support staff and teammates that will last forever, and for that I am so thankful.
"I never took for granted the opportunity to lead this team out on to the field for 235 games. We had a lot of great moments, beginning in San Diego and then finishing in L.A. I wish my teammates and coaches nothing but the best moving forward. I'm not sure what the future holds, but my family and I look forward to seeing what God has planned for us next."
The New York Giants selected Rivers with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft but traded him to the Chargers in a draft-day deal for Eli Manning. Rivers went on to set numerous franchise records with the Chargers, and his 123 career wins are ninth most among quarterbacks in league history.
Rivers is sixth in NFL history in career passing yards (59,271) and touchdown throws (397). He guided the Chargers to the postseason six times in his 14 years as the team's starting quarterback, including a trip to the 2007 AFC Championship Game.
Rivers will be one of the top quarterbacks available in a free-agent market that also could include Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston and Ryan Tannehill.