After contemplating retirement, San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick decided to return for his 11th season.

Hardwick has one year remaining on his three-year deal.

"I told them I expect to play next season," Hardwick told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday.

Hardwick sustained a concussion during the Chargers' playoff win against the Cincinnati Bengals in January and dealt with recurring neck stingers during the season.

"I wanted to take a month off where I didn't have to think about football," Hardwick said. "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."

The 2004 third-round pick has experienced several ups and downs during his career. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2007. He had major ankle surgery in 2008. He was on a playoff team five of his first six seasons in the NFL. Then, he experienced a three-year drought from the postseason.

The Chargers rebounded in 2013 with a 9-7 record and a return to the playoffs.

"I feel like we've turned the corner," Hardwick said. "I want to see it through. I think this team has a lot of potential. We're going to pick up where we left off at the end of the season. I expect really good things from this football team moving forward."

Hardwick, 32, has made 135 career regular-season starts and has not missed a game in four seasons.

"I think every game is like cliff diving," Hardwick said. "You stand on the ledge, and you think, '(Wow), am I really going to do this?' I still get really pumped up, really nervous. And then when you jump off the cliff, you have the greatest time of your life, and you realize that everything's going to be fine. That's when the game starts. It is so fun."

Hardwick can make up to $4.4 million this year, including a $1 million roster bonus.