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Manning recently signed the biggest contract in the league, a six-year extension worth $97 million, with $35 million guaranteed and an average salary of $15.3 million starting next season. Roethlisberger signed an eight-year contract extension worth $102 million in 2008.
Rivers became the starting quarterback in 2006. He's led the team to the playoffs in each of the past three seasons and has a career record as a starter, including playoffs, of 36-18. The 27-year-old Rivers is 22-5 at home and also holds the Chargers' record with a 92.9 career passer rating.
"He's a good dude, man, and I'm happy for him and I'm happy that he's here long term," said tight end Antonio Gates, who has his locker next to Rivers.
Gates said the Chargers had fun kidding Rivers at practice about his big deal, but knows the money won't change him.
"At the end of the day I know what it means for him to go out here and play football and know the passion he has for us to win," Gates said. "I think that's the biggest thing about him. The thing I'm going to remember when I'm done playing ain't going to be the big contracts, it ain't going to be the money, it ain't going to be the cars. It's going to be the person I had the chance to sit next to."
Sure enough, Rivers, a father of four, said he's going to keep driving a minivan.
"It's the most efficient for the kids," he said. "They can get in an out. It's hard to buckle them in the car seats if you've got to climb back there in all the SUVs."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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