Who will hand Philip Rivers a starting job for 2020?

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Soon-to-be-former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers plans to play up to two more years. Before he can play two more years, he needs to play one more year. Before he can play one more year, he needs to find someone who will give him a job.

And he presumably wants more than just a job as in a roster spot. He presumably wants to be given a starting job, with a contract that makes it clear that he won’t be competing with an incumbent or a backup or another free agent or a draft pick. So who will hand Rivers a clear-cut, full-season starting job in 2020?

There aren’t many obvious destinations. Peter King and I drafted the ideal landing spots for Rivers in 2020, but there’s currently no team that seems to be poised to make Rivers the guy for 2020, in the way that, for example, Washington made Alex Smith the guy post-Chiefs, the Broncos made Peyton Manning the guy post-Colts, the Jets made Brett Favre the guy post-Packers, and the Vikings made Brett Favre the guy post-Jets.

It will take a contract that pays out at least $25 million in 2020 to convince anyone that Rivers will be the Week One through Week 17 starter, barring injury or abject disaster. Anything less than that opens the door for Rivers to holding a place until, for example, a first-round pick is ready to go.

So what happens if there’s no team that anoints Rivers the unquestioned starter? Would he take what he could get? Maybe a truly open competition? Maybe a Ryan Tannehill-type situation where he’d arrive as the backup but eventually take over for a strug-uh-ling starter?

Franchise quarterbacks rarely accept anything other than starting jobs. It could be that, once free agency opens, there won’t be an obvious starting job for Rivers. It could be that his best bet will be to wait, until after free agency or after the draft or until a starter potentially gets injured.

Regardless, the news that the Chargers are moving on from Rivers is just the beginning. The next question is whether someone will invite Rivers to move in, after a 23-touchdown, 20-interception final season in L.A. At this point, there’s no guarantee that it will happen.

33 responses to “Who will hand Philip Rivers a starting job for 2020?

  1. The only place that makes real sense is Indy. But thats not a guarantee and there has been no indication they are interested in Rivers. Maybe no one shows interest and he fades into retirement? Would suck that nis last season was underwhelming, 16 virtual road games and the organization could only muster up a goodbye “Tweet”.

  2. Chicago, Tampa Bay, Saints (if Drew retires), Buccaneers, Panthers (If Cam goes), Titans, Colts, Bengals, Broncos are all potential options the way i see it. I wouldn’t get too hung up on last years stats, he was throwing to simply keep them competitive half the time. Franchise guys go where they will, and Phil is a Franchise QB.

  3. Think about this for a second, the Chargers were within 1 score in 9 of their 11 loses. So they were in these games. The star running Gordon back holds out for 4 games to start the season (Chargers were 2-2). When he comes back he’s not in shape (and his 1st 3 games back he rushes for 12-31, 8-18, 16-32) and is out played by Ekeler. Henry misses games 2 thru 5. All that and Rivers finishes 4th in yards, 15th in TD’s, 10th in completion percentage. It was his 4th best yards passing in a season and 5th best completion percentage. Miami, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Washington, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Saints, NE, and Jets are all potential landing spots if San Diego won’t resign him.

  4. There is no team that has the nerve to tell it’s fan base with a straight face – “He’s our guy for 2020”. As a longtime Bolts fan, he should have been jettisoned From San Diego years ago.

  5. Miami maybe? Cincinnati maybe? They both will take qbs with their first round picks. Sit behind him for a year or possibly two?

  6. A lot of people must not have seen him play last season. He was awful for the most part, particularly in clutch time. The Chargers made the correct move and I believe no team will HAND him a starting job. If he’s so sure that he’s still got game, prove it. Compete!

  7. Think Dolphins can use Rivers easily! Fitz is a great backup and can have Competition for 3rd string with Rosen. Miami can draft QB and have 2 year plan

  8. Tampa Bay HAS to bring someone in. If Winston comes back, you will be able to hear the crickets in RayJay.
    If Jameis is the answer, you’re asking the wrong question.

  9. ardsfann1 says:
    February 12, 2020 at 7:59 am
    Miami maybe? Cincinnati maybe? They both will take qbs with their first round picks. Sit behind him for a year or possibly two?
    ——————————————————————————————In Miami Fitzpatrick did pretty well. PFF ranked Fitzpatrick over Rivers and Fitzpatrick played behind the worst OL and with no running game.
    They probably will draft a QB with the first pick and have no reason to spend 20+ million on a QB who appears to be reaching the end of his career.

  10. With Brady, Brees and Rivers all FAs all at once and the market is flooded.

    With so few teams, legit teams, able to take on a 30 mil per qb, there are not a lot of attractive options for these qbs changing environments so late in their career.

    Yep.

    Everywhere you turn, there are too many negatives with crap teams with “cap space” are not upgrading by acquiring one of these aging, but future Hof qbs.

    You may see Brees and/or Rivers retire over it.

  11. He is too old to be a franchise QB but could compete for a starting job on a team that has a good offensive line. Carolina, TB, Indy fit this bill. Wentz is the man in Philly but would Rivers become the backup, knowing Wentz’s injury history ?

  12. Rivers was a great competitor and better than average quarterback that never won anything. No one will hire him for even 15 mil/year. Who wants a 2 year guy anyway, unless he’s a difference maker. Tampa already has their qb (TB12). Oh yeah, and he does not belong in the hall of Fame.

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