- Philip Rivers is getting set to enter free agency for the first time
- With the Chargers moving on, suitors are lining up for the veteran QB
- See the odds for where Rivers could play next below
While rumors and conjecture continue to swirl around Tom Brady, the Philip Rivers free agency experience has gotten off to a slower start.
Rivers and the LA Chargers famously split following the 2019 season. The Chargers could be going in a number of ways, including chasing Brady or drafting a QB at sixth overall. Rivers, meanwhile, has moved his family to Florida.
Rivers’ relocation means that both the Buccaneers and Dolphins are among the favorites to land the man on the cusp of 60,000 career yards. But is there another team worth stronger consideration?
Odds on Where Philip Rivers Will Play in 2020
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+200|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+1000|
|New England Patriots||+3300|
All odds taken Feb. 28
When we last checked in, the Bucs were the favorites. In fact, their odds haven’t changed, remaining at +200. The Colts have suddenly jumped to the top of the list, however, moving from +300 to +120, with the Dolphins climbing the ladder too.
There are a lot of interesting pieces to the Colts. First of all, there’s a lot of cap space, so paying Rivers shouldn’t be a problem. They’ve got a quality offensive line, and play-makers at wide receiver, tight end and running back.
But don’t they already have a quarterback?
Jacoby Brissett Won’t Block Colts Change at QB
While that may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that Brissett re-did his contract last year following Andrew Luck’s retirement. While he technically signed a two year deal, the first year raised last year’s salary from $2-million to $20-million. So Brissett is essentially on a one-year deal.
But, after a good, yet injury-plagued, season, there was this ‘ringing’ endorsement.
Colts GM Chris Ballard weighing Jacoby Brissett as a long term starter: “We still need more. We still gotta find out more.”
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) February 25, 2020
So if the Colts are inclined to chase Rivers instead of sticking with Brissett, there isn’t a ton tying them to him.
Philip Rivers Makes Sense for Colts
On Thursday, The Athletic’s Stephen Holder reported that the Colts are ‘vetting’ Philip Rivers. Which is combine speak for ‘closed-door discussions with agents’ because…well…tampering.
Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline dropped this nugget in Thursday’s combine notebook saying, “It’s been reported the past few days that soon to be free agent Philip Rivers would be the perfect solution and people at the NFL Combine tell me they believe this will happen.”
Among other things, Pauline pointed to Rivers’ relationship with Colts coach Frank Reich.
Things don’t stop there, however. Ian Rapoport even went on record to connect the dots between Rivers, Reich and the Colts.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2020
So is the Rivers/Colts marriage a foregone conclusion?
Buccaneers the Only Threat in Philip Rivers’ Field
We’ll start with the has-beens. Rivers may want to get out ahead of Brady’s slow-play, so the Patriots, Raiders and Titans aren’t worthwhile investments. Plus, both Vegas and Tennessee have fall-back options in Derek Carr and Ryan Tannehill.
The Dolphins have continually said they’re rebuilding, the Panthers claim they’re happy with Cam Newton, and despite the drama, we don’t see Dak Prescott leaving the Cowboys.
So that leaves Tampa Bay.
Historically, Rivers has enjoyed living close to where he plays, and Bruce Arians hasn’t been shy about how he feels about Rivers. Now or in the past. Arians has been quoted as saying, “He’s just a winner. There are a lot of ways to play the position. He is a classic drop-back quarterback and, I mean, those are the guys I love coaching.”
And having the chance to throw to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans? Rivers can definitely make that work.
The combine, historically, is a hotbed of rumors. Whether they’re true or not is another story, which could have us backing off the Colts.
But with the amount of people who have staked their name to a Rivers/Colts combo, it’s hard to bet against Rivers moving to the AFC South for 2020.