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Odds Still Favor Rivers Remaining a Charger in 2020, But Colts Given Short Odds to Acquire Him

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Jan 3, 2020 · 12:40 PM PST

Philip Rivers smiling
Sportsbooks favor Philip Rivers remaining with the Los Angeles Chargers for the 2020 NFL season, although the Indianapolis Colts have been given short odds to acquire the veteran quarterback. Photo by Jeffrey Beall (flickr)
  • Sportsbooks list -175 odds that quarterback Philip Rivers will still be with the Los Angeles Chargers for the 2020 NFL season
  • The Indianapolis Colts are the second betting choice in this market at +225
  • Rivers, 38, has been with the Chargers since the 2004 season

Is Philip Rivers poised to fly away from the Los Angeles Chargers? Sportsbooks don’t think so.

They’re offering the Chargers as the -175 odds-on favorites to retain the services of Rivers. Just a month ago, he was -150 to remain with LA.

The veteran quarterback has spent his entire 18-season NFL career with the Chargers. He’s been their starting QB since the 2006 season.

Odds What Team Philip Rivers Will Play for in Week 1 of 2020 NFL Season

Team Odds
Los Angeles Chargers -175
Indianapolis Colts +225
Tennessee Titans +450
Carolina Panthers +950
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1000
Las Vegas Raiders +2000
Chicago Bears +2000

Odds taken Jan. 3rd

The Indianapolis Colts are listed as the +225 second betting choice to be the NFL team Rivers is under center for in 2020.

What Does Future Hold for Rivers?

How much does Rivers have left in the tank? That question was posed to Chargers’ general manager Tom Telesco. His assessment was that the veteran QB still has the ability to be a top-level starter in the NFL.

He’s coming off a terrible season in which he threw 20 interceptions and the Chargers, one year removed from an AFC Wild Card playoff position, finished up 5-11. That included an 0-6 slate against AFC West opponents.

Telesco indicated that one way or another, the Rivers situation would be resolved prior to the March 18 opening of free agency.

Will Chargers Draft a QB?

On the current roster, there’s not much hope for the future at QB for the Chargers beyond Rivers. His backup this season was journeyman veteran Tyrod Taylor. At the age of 30, Taylor has already taken on starting assignments with the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, with at best, mixed results.

LA’s third-stringer is Easton Stick. He played college ball for perennial FCS power North Dakota State. Stick has never attempted a pass in the NFL and really, with a name like that, shouldn’t he be a hockey player?

If the Chargers are planning to move on from Rivers, they’ll likely need to spend their first-round draft pick on a QB. Selecting sixth overall, Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow of LSU will be long gone when the Chargers step up to the podium.

It would be a risky proposition to take Justin Herbert, Jordan Love and Jacob Eason, other top-rated QBs for the 2020 draft, at #6. But there is one intriguing possibility – Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.

He’s coming off a major hip injury and still hasn’t declared for the draft. If he does, would the Chargers roll the dice on Tagovailoa at #5?

Could it Be Eli’s Coming?

Suppose the Chargers opt to move on from Rivers and elect to draft a QB in the first round. They could always sign a veteran free agent as a stopgap while the rookie develops.

In fact, they could even grab someone who used to be their property.

In the 2004 NFL Draft, the Chargers selected Eli Manning first overall. When the Giants selected Rivers with the #4 pick, the two teams immediately traded QBs.

Manning has been pushed aside in New York in favor of 2019 first-round pick Daniel Jones. Wouldn’t it be wild if he opted to finish up where he briefly started, and signed with the Chargers?

Is Brissett’s Goose Cooked?

Jacoby Brissett was the starting QB for the Colts in two of the past three seasons.

This season, Indy went 7-9, missed the playoffs and finished third in the AFC South. In 2017, the Colts were 4-12 and third in the AFC South.

Last season, with Andrew Luck at the helm, the Colts were 10-6 and an AFC Wild Card team.

Rivers vs Brissett Stats

Philip Rivers
Jacoby Brissett

123-101 (.549) Career Record 12-20 (.375)
4,615 (4) 2019 Passing Yards 2.942 (27)
288.54 (6) 2019 Passing Yards Per Game 196.1 (34)
23 (15) 2019 TD Passes 18 (26)
20 (3) 2019 Interceptions 6 (18)
88.5 (17) 2019 Passer Rating 88.0 (18)
66.0 (10) 2019 Completion Percentage 60.9 (26)

Has Indy seen enough of Brissett to determine he’s not the answer at QB going forward? For what it’s worth, Colts GM Chris Ballard suggested the jury was still out on whether Brissett was a franchise QB.

This season, both the Denver Broncos (Joe Flacco) and Jacksonville Jaguars (Nick Foles) brought in Super Bowl-winning QBs with disastrous outcomes. Will that deter teams for seeking a quick fix under center?

Rivers Staying Put

The play that makes the most sense from both a betting and Chargers standpoint is Rivers staying right where he is at the moment.

Do what the Giants did with Manning this season – draft a QB in the first round and keep Rivers to start and mentor the kid until he’s ready to take over.

Pick: Los Angeles Chargers (-175)

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