Philip Rivers Rumors: Latest on QB After Mariota's Reported Raiders Contract

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The 2020 edition of NFL free agency is intriguing because there are several big-name players involved, many of them quarterbacks. That's great for fans and quarterback-needy teams alike, but it's a potential problem for the signal-callers looking for employment.

Philip Rivers is one of those signal-callers. The 16-year veteran parted with the Los Angeles Chargers at the end of the season and is looking to play for a different team in 2020. The problem is he's an aging quarterback with a limited shelf life.

By the 38-year-old's own admission, he's only looking to play for two more seasons.

"I can say for certain that if I'm playing, it's for a two-year maximum," Rivers told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

This means that only teams seeking a short-term option are going to have interest in him. The problem there is that Tom Brady is also on the open market.

In late February, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport mentioned the Indianapolis Colts and Las Vegas Raiders as two potential landing spots for Rivers—with retirement also an option if they are not interested.

"It sounds like retirement is at least on the table, but he wants to play two more years," Rapoport said.

Unfortunately, the Raiders may be off the table. They agreed to a deal with former Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota on Monday, per Rapoport, and he is expected to back up Derek Carr.

While it's unclear whether the Raiders would give Mariota an opportunity to unseat Carr as the starter, the signing almost certainly means there is no room for Rivers in Las Vegas.

This leaves the Indianapolis Colts as the most likely landing spot for eight-time Pro Bowler. According to Rapoport, there have been discussions:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The #Colts have had discussions with free agent QB Philip Rivers, source said. And while nothing is done, he’s a clear target for Indy. We shall see if they can agree on the money.

In Indianapolis, Rivers would benefit from one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. This could be a huge selling point, as the veteran was sacked 66 times over the past two seasons and 126 times over the past four.

For the Colts, adding Rivers would make a lot of sense. They may sense the AFC South is there for the taking—the Houston Texans' decision to trade away DeAndre Hopkins weakens one rival—and the team is not sold on 2019 starter Jacoby Brissett.

"The jury is still out," general manager Chris Ballard said of Brissett, per ESPN's Mike Wells.

The window with Rivers wouldn't be open for more than a season or two, but if Indianapolis does view him as a clear upgrade over Brissett, the longtime Chargers star could be a Colt early in the week.