Taylor is "in the driver seat" to start the 2020 season despite the selection of Justin Herbert No. 6 overall during the 2020 NFL Draft according to head coach Anthony Lynn and general manager Tom Telesco, James Crepea of The Oregonian reports. It's an interesting remark considering the head coach/general manager duo repeatedly iterated earlier in the offseason that Taylor was the obvious choice as a starter, so the change in language to a potential "competition" is worth noting. It still feels unlikely Taylor will cede snaps to the team's newest first-round pick immediately, if only because Herbert will likely take some time to get acclimated to the offense and his teammates in what could be an unconventional OTA period. Still, it seems likely there will be pressure from outside sources pushing Herbert into the starting lineup, particularly given his draft status compared to the less-heralded Taylor.
The Chargers are planning to move forward with Taylor as the lone veteran quarterback on their roster, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The Chargers tried to sign Tom Brady but lost out to the Buccaneers. Rather than pivoting to a lesser veteran, the team will move forward with Taylor and Easton Stick, while presumably hoping to add an early round draft pick at the position. It's also possible the Chargers change their mind and add another veteran, though Wednesday's report suggests it won't be a priority.
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco implied Taylor and Easton Stick could have a chance to compete for the starting quarterback job in 2020, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports. Telesco didn't really get into details, merely mentioning that the team likes its internal options. With Philip Rivers set to sign elsewhere, the Chargers have often been mentioned as a sensible destination for Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, a probable first-round pick who recently was named Senior Bowl MVP. Taylor is under contract through 2020, while Stick -- a 2019 fifth-round selection -- is signed through 2022.
Taylor appeared in eight games during the 2019 season, completing four of six passes for 33 yards and one touchdown while adding 10 rushes for seven yards. Taylor operated in a backup role for the Chargers this season, playing behind starting quarterback Philip Rivers apart from a few specialty formations. Rivers will become an unrestricted free agent once the 2019 season concludes, leaving Taylor, who has one year left on his contract, as the potential starter if Rivers decides to sign elsewhere. The Chargers could explore options in the draft, but Taylor's past experience as an NFL starter should give him a good chance of being the primary signal-caller for the 2020 season if Rivers explores other options.
Taylor completed six of nine attempts for 61 yards and rushed six times for 34 yards in the Chargers' 23-15 preseason loss to the Seahawks on Saturday. Taylor played the first three series and was able to lead a 12-play, 58-yard mark that culminated in a Mike Badgley 40-yard field goal. The mobile veteran actually led the Chargers in rushing yardage on the night and appears firmly entrenched as Philip Rivers' primary backup to start the season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/20||Kansas City Chiefs||14||17.89|
|4||10/04||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||22.13|
|5||10/13||@New Orleans Saints||20||20.18|
|6||10/18||New York Jets||17||19.13|
|9||11/08||Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|13||12/06||New England Patriots||1||11.06|
|15||12/18||@Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|17||01/03||@Kansas City Chiefs||14||17.89|
|3 Year Avg||60.6||1102||6||2||186||2||104|