Philip Rivers Signing With Indianapolis Colts
Philip Rivers is signing with the Indianapolis Colts in 2020. At this point, there is too much smoke for there not to be any fire.
Two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Chargers announced that Rivers and the organization were going their separate ways.
“After stepping back a bit from last season, we reconnected with Philip and his representatives to look at how 2019 played out, assess our future goals, evaluate the current state of the roster and see if there was a path forward that made sense for both parties,” Tom Telesco, the team’s GM, said.
“As we talked through various scenarios, it became apparent that it would be best for Philip and the Chargers to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run.”
Rumors of Rivers and the Chargers splitting up were prevalent all season, and they really heated up when Tom Brady started quietly expressing interest in coming to Los Angeles.
“We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020,” Telesco continued.
“I’ve said before that Philip can still compete at a top-starter level and, in a perfect world, number 17 is your quarterback forever.
“Obviously, we live in an imperfect world where the only constant is change.
“I think Philip’s tremendous perspective, both when it comes to football and when it comes to life, helped lend clarity to a very complex situation.”
Shortly after the 38-year-old was officially granted his freedom, now-former teammate running back Melvin Gordon came out and suggested that Indianapolis would be a logical landing spot for him.
“I think he goes to the Colts,” Gordon said. “I don’t know, that’s just my thought.”
What was Gordon’s rationale? Well, two things.
One, Indy is obviously unhappy with its quarterback situation and Jacoby Brissett’s performance last year. Two, Rivers is very familiar with Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni and head coach Frank Reich.
“He has [connections],” Gordon continued. “Nick, 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.”
Beyond that, Reich also served as an assistant with the then-San Diego Chargers for three years while Rivers was the quarterback.
Recently, Pro Football Focus offered their take on what Rivers would do with his newfound free agency – and they agree with Gordon’s assessment.
The PFF experts envision a scenario where the Colts sign Rivers to a two-year, $58 million contract. Roughly $34 million of that would be guaranteed.
“For anyone who thinks this is a bad idea, it’s really not,” they wrote.
“Brissett was a poor deep passer, and while Rivers has taken a step back in this category, the overall accuracy between the two is night and day.
“Looking at passes that were beyond the line of scrimmage, Brissett ranked second to last in uncatchable pass rate while Rivers ranked in the top 10.”
There are only two real problems with Rivers coming to Indianapolis.
First and foremost, the Colts already have a decent chunk of change committed to Brissett for next season. Last year, Brissett received a two-year, $30 million contract.
Per that deal, a $7 million roster bonus has already been guaranteed. That means all Indianapolis really stands to save if it cut Brissett would be $6 million in cash and $8.9 million on its cap.
The second big issue facing Rivers-to-Indy is that it is unclear whether last season’s career-low showing by the 38-year-old was the new norm or an aberration.
In 2019, Rivers recorded 4,615 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 picks on an 88.5 rating. The touchdown and interception totals were some of the lowest of his career.
Just one year earlier, however, in 2018, he amassed 4,308 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on a 105.5 rating.
That is a big difference.
Which Rivers will show up for 2020? That is the $60 million question that will ultimately determine whether the Colts signing Rivers is a good idea.