Uncertainty swirls around Rivers' future with Chargers

SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego Chargers seem desperate to beat the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles, or at least get there at the same time.

Philip Rivers really doesn't want to go along if they do move north, perhaps as early as 2016.

So, it's oh-so-Chargers that they might be compelled to swap their franchise quarterback to begin building with Carson in their future.

Or not.

It's been rumored for weeks that the Chargers could send Rivers to the Tennessee Titans - who play not far from Rivers' Alabama hometown - for the No. 2 pick overall and the chance to take Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

General manager Tom Telesco swears it's not going to happen. Of course he wouldn't actually swear, or even lie.

At least that's what he professes.

''I'm Catholic. I tell the truth,'' Telesco said during his pre-draft news conference.

Of course, everyone knows that truth is often a casualty in the NFL in April.

''Philip's our quarterback. It's our plan and intent that he's our quarterback well into the future,'' Telesco said.

Has Telesco, who holds the 17th pick overall, discussed a trade with Tennessee?

''I'm going to leave that go,'' he said.

Does he see any scenario that includes moving up to the second pick?

''Uh, no,'' the GM said.

He might be telling the truth. But who really knows?

Here are some things to consider as the Chargers prepare for the draft:

RIVERS NOT ROLLING TO LA-LA-LAND? Rivers, San Diego's starter since 2006, has said that with so much uncertainty surrounding the team, he's likely to play out his current contract, which expires after this season, rather than agreeing to an extension.

The Chargers and their biggest rivals, the Oakland Raiders, in February announced plans to build a $1.7 billion stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson if they don't get new stadiums in their current hometowns. So it's possible 2015 could be the Chargers' final season at aging Qualcomm Stadium.

The AFC West foes were responding to the possibility of the Rams returning to the L.A. area. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is part of a joint venture that wants to build an 80,000-seat stadium in the L.A. suburb of Inglewood.

The Chargers seem already out the door, just waiting for the NFL's OK to bolt north. Lawyer Mark Fabiani has sparred with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his stadium advisory group, which is due to release a recommended financing plan on May 20.

THE MARIOTA FACTOR: So why did a contingent from the Chargers' front office travel to Eugene recently to work out Mariota and take him to dinner?

''That's just kind of what we do,'' Telesco said. ''In player evaluation, we'll never be 100 percent right. We might be 80 percent right. But we will be 100 percent right on preparation.

''With any player in the draft, if Dean (Spanos) leans over and asks me about a player and I'm not prepared and I don't have enough information on him, that's on me,'' Telesco said. ''When it comes to quarterbacks we have to scout them a little bit differently. There's a lot more that goes into it. That's not something new.''

RUNNING BACK: If the Chargers stay put at No. 17, they're likely to draft a running back to replace Ryan Mathews, who left as a free agent.

It could be Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin or Todd Gurley of Georgia.

Danny Woodhead is OK with that.

''If that's what our front office decides, that's what they decide,'' said Woodhead, the third-down back who is coming off a leg injury.

''About every year I've been in the league, I've always had a running back draft. That's the NFL. That's part of things. It's a team game and whoever's going to help us, no matter who it is, I think the guys upstairs know what we want and know what we need.''

OTHER NEEDS: The Chargers, who finished third in the AFC West for the second straight year and missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons, need someone to boost the anemic pass rush and can always use more help on the defensive line, at wide receiver and in the secondary.

SO FAR THIS SPRING: Telesco re-signed left tackle King Dunlap and cornerback Brandon Flowers and added guard Orlando Franklin and receiver-returner Jacoby Jones. The Chargers lost center Nick Hardwick and outside linebacker Jarret Johnson to retirement and Dwight Freeney is unlikely to be brought back.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson

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