Two years after the Chargers left San Diego, Philip Rivers is finally doing the same. However, unlike the Chargers, Rivers won’t be moving to Los Angeles. The quarterback revealed over the weekend that he’ll be making a permanent move from San Diego to Florida this offseason.
Commuting from Florida to Southern California isn’t an easy thing to do, so the obvious implication here is that Rivers’ time with the Chargers is likely going to come to an end after 16 seasons, and the 38-year-old quarterback didn’t exactly shoot that notion down during a recent text exchange with ESPN.
“What this means football-wise is to be determined but it was time for us to move back closer to home,” Rivers wrote.
With Rivers heading to the sunshine state, speculation is already starting to build that the veteran quarterback could end up signing a deal with an NFL team that’s located in Florida. Remember, Rivers has nine children and loves the idea of staying close to home, which is a big reason why he stayed in San Diego and never moved to Los Angeles, even after the Chargers made the move to L.A. in 2017.
So which Florida team could make sense for Rivers?
According to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, who that Rivers and the Chargers would likely be parting ways, there’s “a lot of buzz” about Tampa Bay as a potential landing spot for Rivers, which is intriguing for multiple reasons.
For one, it would throw an absolute wrench into NFL free agency. If Rivers were to sign with the Buccaneers, then Jameis Winston would presumably be headed somewhere else, and if Jameis were to sign with another team, his new team would also have a quarterback that needs a new home. Basically, it would start a domino effect that could potentially lead to one of the craziest offseason of all-time.
Rivers to Tampa? Tom Brady to the Chargers? La Canfora actually took a look at how the QB domino effect might shake out this offseason and .
As for whether or not the Bucs would actually move on from Jameis after a season where he threw for more than 5,000 yards, it’s not completely out of the question. Let’s not forget that Winston didn’t exactly get a ringing endorsement from Bruce Arians during the coach’s end of the season press conference.
“If we can win with this [quarterback], we can definitely win,” Arians said on Dec. 30.
Let’s also not forget that Winson threw 30 interceptions in 2019, which was the most by any NFL quarterback since 1988. When Arians was with the Cardinals, he brought in a veteran quarterback in Carson Palmer and the move completely rejuvenated Palmer’s career, so it’s not crazy to think that Arians might want to try the same thing with Rivers.
During a recent episode the Pick Six Podcast, which you can listen to below, La Canfora went into some detail on why Arians might be interested in adding Rivers.
“Bruce ain’t in this forever,” La Canfora said of the Bucs head coach. “And I think Bruce was at his wit’s end with Jameis by the end of the year as much as he wanted it to work. Look, Jameis is probably going to get decent money somewhere and is looking for a term that is much longer than the Bucs want to do. So why couldn’t you rent Philip Rivers for a year or two with the weapons they have there and make a go of it? That wouldn’t shock me. This would be Carson Palmer. And you don’t have to give up anything to get him. You’re trying to win in the next two years.”
On Rivers’ end, he definitely plans on playing in 2020, so we can go ahead and eliminate retirement as an option for him this offseason.
“I plan to play football,” Rivers said on Dec. 29. “Where that is going to be will get sorted out over the next few months. I’ve never been in this position. … I’m very thankful for the 16 years [with the Chargers], and if there is another, I’ll be thankful for that.”
As for the Chargers, general manager Tom Telesco didn’t seem too enthusiastic about bringing Rivers’ back when he was asked about the possibility this week.
“He didn’t play his best in every game, but hey, guess what, our team didn’t play its best in every game either, we only had five wins,” Telesco told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I think he still has plenty of good snaps left in him, but like I said, he’s a free agent. So there’s a lot of moving parts that go with that.”
Telesco and Arians both sound like people who might be in the market for a new quarterback, which is one reason why this offseason could be one of the wildest ones in NFL history.