San Diego Chargers Center Nick Hardwick will return in 2014


Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego, CA- San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick after contemplating retirement for the past couple of weeks, has decided to return to the Chargers for the 2014 season. Hardwick met with San Diego Chargers executives today in Indianapolis at the combine to let them know of his decision.

In a phone interview with  UT-San Diego Chargers beat reporter Michael Gehlken, Hardwick expressed his excitement for the upcoming season.

"“I told them I expect to play next season, I’m excited about it.”"

When asked what factors he took into consideration when deciding whether or not to come back next season, Hardwick told Gehlken.

"“I wanted to take a month off where I didn’t have to think about football,” said Hardwick, who turns 33 in September. “I just wanted to be honest with where my body is, where my brain is, where we’re at and where we want to go. Just give an honest assessment. My body feels great. My brain feels great. I do think there’s better football ahead of me.”"

For Hardwick this will be his 11th season with the Chargers and the final year of his three-year contract. Hardwick has played the most snaps of any Chargers lineman and has started 66 straight regular season games and 135 for his career. Hardwick is the most vital piece of the Chargers offensive line, as he responsible for calling out the blocking schemes up front and has chemistry with Philip Rivers. The return of Hardwick, gives the Chargers one less position to worry about this off-season and allows them to place their focus on their position needs.