We could be looking at one of the biggest free agency periods in recent memory if some of the notable names actually hit the open market. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Derrick Henry are just a few of the big names set to hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year opens on March 18th. One or more stands a good chance of signing a contract with their current team before then, but there is a chance one or more is taking calls when the tampering period opens on March 16th.
2019 in review
The 38-year old Philip Rivers is clearly in decline, finishing 2019 with the worst adjusted passer rating of his career. Rivers finished about four percent below the league average passer, only the second time in his career he has posted a below average adjusted passer rating. Rivers’ 20 interceptions was third most among QBs, and his poor play led to rumors that the Chargers were thinking about benching him. As a result, the Chargers and Rivers agreed to part ways.
Rivers and his family moved to Florida in an effort to move closer to his home, which could be a hint as to the area he’s thinking about playing in 2020. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be in the market for a QB after Jameis Winston had another highly turnover prone season, finishing with 30 interceptions and 12 fumbles. The Carolina Panthers have yet to commit to Cam Newton for 2020, and the Jacksonville Jaguars received below average play at QB after signing Nick Foles to a deal. These teams fit the location Rivers is apparently looking to play in, although potential interest in Rivers is unclear, especially given Rivers’ age and declining performance.
Do the Chargers want to keep him?
The Chargers and Rivers have already formally moved on, so the Chargers will be looking for a new QB for the 2020 season.
Rivers landing in Tampa Bay would be the best for his fantasy value. Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians is known as a QB friendly coach, and the Bucs are loaded with weapons at receiver positions, including Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The Buccaneers attempted the fourth most passes in 2019 and generated the most passing yards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There has been buzz around Rivers to Tampa Bay, and ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported league sources indicated the Bucs interest in Rivers is legitimate.
Ian Rapoport is reporting the Colts “have interest” in Rivers and a lot of people at the Combine think he ends up there.
While reporting Rivers to the Colts could happen, Ian Rapoport also said that he would not rule out the Raiders “if they are looking for a veteran quarterback.” He thinks they will take a look at Rivers.