The Los Angeles Chargers saw their 2019 season come to a disappointing close after falling well short of reaching the playoffs. That has put into focus the long-term future of quarterback Philip Rivers, who is on pace to enter free agency in March. The door appears to be open for Rivers to depart after finishing his 16th campaign, all spent with the franchise. However, there seems to be at least one team that could make a serious run to add the veteran quarterback in the offseason.
Philip Rivers’ 2019 campaign
The Chargers entered the season after a promising 2018, where they held a 12-4 record while reaching the divisional round of the playoffs. The hope was that the franchise would build off that momentum, but instead, Los Angeles fell flat, falling to a 5-11 record that pushed them well out of postseason contention early on in the year.
The team struggled to find success in close games as they lost nine of the 11 games played that were within seven points or fewer. A significant reason for these shortcomings was Rivers’ struggles as he threw 20 interceptions, 15 of which came in such contests. The 38-year-old had a hand in the team’s lack of success, as his poor decision-making at times would costing the Chargers in critical situations late in games.
Those struggles began to push the notion that Rivers could be entering his final campaign with the franchise, despite his desire to continue to play beyond 2019. The Pro Bowler’s emotional comments following the regular-season finale appeared to further cement that possibility. If Rivers were to be done in Los Angeles, there is already one team that could pounce on him.
Another AFC Team has interest in Philip Rivers
The Chargers and Rivers look to be headed towards a split this upcoming offseason, which could put the veteran quarterback on the open market for the first time in his career.
There is at least one team that could express significant interest in signing Rivers, with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN stating that there are NFL executives who believe the Indianapolis Colts could make a run at the 38-year-old in free agency.
That notion was further fueled after Colts general manager Chris Ballard voiced that the “jury is still out” on quarterback Jacoby Brissett following his first full season with the team as the starter in the wake of Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement. Brissett had some ups and downs, but he struggled to be a real difference-maker in the passing game.
Rivers is in the tail end of his career but has shown he still has gas left in the tank after finishing fourth with 4,615 passing yards and 15th with 23 touchdowns despite his turnover issues. That could see a team like the Colts make a strong run at him in the coming months.
Chargers hold Philip Rivers’ fate in 2020
It’s no secret that Rivers’ heart still lies with the Chargers, while several of his teammates, such as Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry, have each expressed in him returning to the franchise.
He will likely attempt to patch out a new deal with Los Angeles, but if that scenario isn’t on the table, there will be options in free agency for him. Depending on how certain other situations play out, such as the Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans, Rivers could draw much interest on the open market.
In the end, it will wind up being up to the Chargers to decide if they want Rivers to extend his career with the franchise and help them usher in the next era at Sofi Stadium in 2020 and possibly beyond that.