Philip Rivers Rumors: Bucs a Possible Team for Chargers QB in 2020 Free Agency

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2020

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 29:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to the sideline during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

As Philip Rivers approaches free agency this offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could potentially make a move for the eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reported Monday he was "hearing a lot of buzz about Tampa as a possible landing spot" for Rivers should he move on from the Los Angeles Chargers after 16 years.

La Canfora first wrote in November that Rivers and the Chargers appeared to be preparing for a separation, with no progress made on an extension beyond 2019.

Rivers acknowledged in December his future was up in the air.

"Yeah, it is not solely going to be my decision," he told reporters. "That's where I think the uncertainty lies. We will just kind of have to see. I think when the dust settles on December 29th and 30th, and times goes from there, it will all play out."

ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported Sunday that Rivers had "moved 'permanently' from San Diego to Florida to be closer to his family."

The Buccaneers could be in the market for a new quarterback depending on how they view Jameis Winston's long-term value.

Winston is a free agent as well, and his performance was a microcosm of his time in the NFL

He became the first player in league history to throw for at least 30 touchdowns (33) and 30 interceptions (30). Although he led the league in passing yards (5,109), his 60.7 percent completion rate was the second-lowest of his career.

One could argue going from Winston to Rivers is a lateral move for Tampa Bay.

Rivers threw for 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions as the Chargers finished 5-11. Since 2015, Winston is first in the NFL in interceptions (88), per Pro Football Reference. Rivers is second (76), with some distance separating him from Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ben Roethlisberger in third place with 60 interceptions.

Signing Rivers might be the better move if the alternative is bringing back Winston on a costly multiyear deal that has a high risk of backfiring.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians also helped revive Carson Palmer's career with the Arizona Cardinals. He might feel confident he can get one or two more productive years out of Rivers before the 38-year-old hangs up his cleats.