While we’re still a month away from the official start of NFL free agency, the quarterback carousel is already spinning. While Tom Brady is the biggest name on the market, there are plenty of players who could be on the move. Philip Rivers, for example, won’t be returning to the Los Angeles Chargers.
While there’s no shortage of speculation at this point, Chargers running back Melvin Gordon recently shared his take on the situation. He has an idea where Rivers could end up this offseason.
Philip Rivers and the Chargers are parting ways
In 2004, the San Diego Chargers drafted Eli Manning. The quarterback wouldn’t come to Southern California, though, so the club traded him to the New York Giants in exchange for Philip Rivers. While Drew Brees might not have liked the move, it worked out pretty well for the Chargers.
Despite his draft status, Rivers didn’t immediately take over the starting job. He sat second on the depth chart until the end of the 2005 campaign when Brees suffered a serious shoulder injury. After that, though, the Chargers never looked back. While the club didn’t find a great deal of postseason success, Rivers did his fair share; in 224 starts for the Chargers, he threw for 59,271 total yards and 397 touchdowns.
All good things, however, must come to an end. While Rivers doesn’t plan to retire, he’s nearing the end of the career; at this point, it’s reasonable for the Chargers to want to start looking to the future. As for the quarterback himself, a move away from California will theoretically give Rivers a few more cracks at the Lombardi Trophy.
Melvin Gordon thinks Philip Rivers could join the Colts
For the past five seasons, Melvin Gordon and Philip Rivers have shared a locker room. While the running back doesn’t have any inside information, he does have a theory about the quarterback’s future.
“I think he goes to the Colts,” Gordon told CBS Sports. “I don’t know, that’s just my thought.”
Gordon is basing his theory on familiarity; not only are the Colts coached by Frank Reich, Rivers’ former offensive coordinator, but Nick Sirianni, Indianapolis’ offensive coordinator, spent five years on the Chargers staff.
“He has [connections],” Gordon explained. “Nick [Sirianni]… he came from here, we had him, and he’s the offensive coordinator there. They run the same playbook, so it’d be easy, he could come right in and he could be telling guys what to do, he knows what’s going on already.”
“We have history with [Reich] as well, so it’d be an easy plug-in,” the running back continued. “So I think that’s probably the best fit, but you never know. Tampa, I hear, is a place. I try not to talk to Phil about free agency, he has enough people in his ear about that. I think the Colts, though.”
The Indianapolis Colts be the perfect fit
While familiarity is all well and good, no team is going to sign Philip Rivers unless they need a starting quarterback. The Colts didn’t lose anyone during the offseason, but they could still want some reinforcements.
After Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement, Jacoby Brissett took over the Indianapolis Colts offense. While he seemed to have the raw tools necessary to succeed, things didn’t come together on the field; the quarterback threw for 2,942 yards, 18 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Apparently, that wasn’t enough to keep hold of the starting role.
Rivers has previously said he’d only want to play for two more seasons at most; that reality could give the Colts the best of both worlds. If the veteran quarterback comes to Indianapolis, he’ll be able to slot into a familiar offense and stabilize the unit; that would give the club two years to find a long term success, whether it’s an improved Brissett or someone else.
In sports, it can be rare to find a win-win deal; Philip Rivers joining the Indianapolis Colts, however, might be just that.