One of the most recognizable, gun -slinging quarterbacks in pro football is now officially a free agent come this March. And, he might end up drawing interest from at least one team in our state. This after mid-day Monday, the Chargers and 16 year veteran quarterback Philip Rivers mutually announced that he will not brought back for the 2020 season:
“In anything you do, it’s the people you do it with that make it special. There are so many relationships and memories with coaches, support staff and teammates that will last forever, and for that I am so thankful."
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) February 10, 2020
This announcement had been long rumored after reports that Rivers had moved his family from Southern California to Florida earlier in January after the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Rivers was emotional after the Chargers final game of the year (above), when they lost at Kansas City 31 – 21. That’s where he basically made it known that he believed his time in San Diego / Los Angeles was done.
The eight-time Pro Bowler had led the Chargers to the playoffs six previous times, including most recently two seasons ago. That’s when L.A. won 12 games in the regular season with Rivers firing 32 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. L.A. then upset the Baltimore Ravens on the road in the Wildcard round of the playoffs.
There has been much speculation as to where Rivers might end up? And, many fans and media are reading into his move to Florida as being a potential signal that he might want to try to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and noted “quarterback guru,” coach Bruce Arians.
Arians led the Arizona Cardinals to am immediate turnaround with veteran Carson Palmer, who had been given up on by the Bengals and then the Raiders, before flourishing for a couple of seasons in Arizona.
The Bucs are still trying to decide what to do with their free-agent-to-be quarterback Jameis Winston? Winston just came off his fourth losing season in five years and dubiously, became the first quarterback in NFL history to have 30 interceptions in a season where he also threw 30 touchdown passes.
As for Rivers, he has also been interception proned throughout his career. This includes six of his seasons, where he’s thrown at least 15 or more, as he did with 20 picks coming in 2019.
If the Bucs are not interested, there is also speculation that the Miami Dolphins might be.
However, Miami already has veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who performed well down the stretch of the season, including leading their dramatic last-minute drive victory at New England in week 17. The Dolphins have also hired Chan Gailey, as their new offensive coordinator, as he previously worked with Fitzpatrick as head coach of the Buffalo Bills and offensive coordinator with the New York Jets.
There are several other possible destinations for the former 2004 first-round pick out of N.C. State.
Rivers could end up potentially in Indianapolis after the abrupt retirement on the eve of last season by Andrew Luck the team might welcome the veteran Rivers to battle last year’s starter Jacoby Brissett to help get them back in the playoffs for 2020.
The Carolina Panthers may also be very interested and obviously, Rivers is from that region.
Carolina still has to decide whether they’re going to keep or release injured quarterback Cam Newton who played in only two games last season due to a foot problem? The Panthers can save over 17 million dollars by cutting Newton.
If you are wondering about Rivers’ cost, it will be an interesting QB market come March, and his last Chargers deal averaged $20 million per year with his actual salary having been $16 million for 2019.