- Quarterback Phillip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers have parted ways.
- Rivers is 9th all-time in NFL wins.
- Rivers has moved his family to Florida, and the sportsbooks seem to think he will play football there too.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Chargers look to be changing the guard at the quarterback position.
On February 10, 2020, the Chargers announced that the team and veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers would be parting ways as Rivers entered free agency this offseason.
Rivers has been a polarizing quarterback, one whose lifetime statistics (9th all-time in NFL wins as a quarterback) tend to get contrasted against his playoff failures (Rivers has never won a Super Bowl). In some ways, this is due to Rivers’ contemporaries – of the five players with more passing yards than Rivers, four of them played during his tenure.
Rivers has long been regarded as a good to great quarterback, but at a lower level than his truly elite peers such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees.
In 2019, Rivers threw for 4615 yards with a 66% completion percentage. He threw 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He showed signs of decline in his age at 38 years old. There are some examples of quarterbacks aging into their 40’s with some grace and it is possible that Rivers’ decline was due to other circumstances than his own play.
The Chargers did not want to take the chance on testing that theory and will instead be looking for a new QB themselves over the offseason. Rumors have been pointing to the franchise trying to land one of his peers in Tom Brady, but there isn't a whole lot of merit to that as indicated by oddsmakers.
Either way, Rivers has already moved to Florida, a move that might herald his offseason plans.
As is apparent from the odds on where Rivers might go next, the sportsbooks have taken notice of the fact that Rivers has moved his entire family to Florida. One Florida team stands out as a team with no discernible future at quarterback, and hard choices to make, but also without a ton of money committed to quarterbacks on the team: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Miami Dolphins appear to be examining the 2020 NFL draft for quarterbacks such as Tua Tagovailoa, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have a ton of money committed to Nick Foles, as well as Gardner Minshew on their roster.
This leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Jameis Winston potentially leaving the team. The Buccaneers do have the option to franchise tag Winston, but Winston has been a hilariously divisive figure, both on and off the field.
Winston threw 30 interceptions last year en route to over 5000 yards and a 7-9 record. He had noted friction with head coach Bruce Arians over the offseason, and seeing rumors of another quarterback taking his place is not a surprise.
Could Rivers end up on the Bucs? The sportsbooks are open and ready to take that bet.