- The Colts have been heavily linked with the veteran quarterback during the NFL Scouting Combine
The reason we’re backing the Colts
All of the news out of the NFL Scouting Combine regarding Rivers surrounded him playing in Indianapolis in 2020. The case for why Rivers would work in Indianapolis is similar to the case for why Tom Brady makes sense in Indianapolis. The Colts are arguably one of the teams who are just a quarterback away from challenging in the AFC. Their offensive line is one of the most solid in the league and they have a number of weapons for a veteran quarterback to utilize. If they lock up a quarterback option in free agency, then they can focus their attention in the 2020 NFL Draft on adding defensive pieces. In an AFC South division that is seemingly up for grabs down the stretch every season, strong quarterback play could be the difference for the Colts as they look to bounce back from 2019.
- Rivers moved his family to Florida and Tampa Bay are potentially searching for their next quarterback
The reason we’re backing the Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are currently without a quarterback, with Jameis Winston set to hit free agency. This situation could change next week if the Buccaneers seemingluy do a U-turn and decide to apply the franchise tag to Winston. However, Tampa is the perfect location for Rivers. He has moved his family there and they have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. The combination on the outside of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin is arguably the best receiving duo in the league and running back Ronald Jones demonstrated his upside at times last season. Additionally, the Buccaneers offensive line was actually better than many expected last season, especially when it came to pass blocking.
Bringing Rivers in this offseason would allow the Buccaneers to focus early round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft on their offensive line. However, they would also be able to add an option like Jacob Eason in the second or third round who could be mentored by Rivers for a season or two. With Bruce Arians future uncertain beyond the next couple of years, Rivers makes perfect sense for a Buccaneers team who should believe they are just a piece or two away from challenging in the NFC in 2020.
- The Patriots may be looking for a short-term veteran option if Brady leaves
The reason we’re backing the Patriots
This is an extremely outside shot because links between Rivers and the Patriots have been limited. However, the Patriots have been a consistent challenger in the past 20 years and will want to be again in 2020. Their roster is built to have depth throughout the 53 and they may just need a veteran presence at quarterback. Rivers, at times, loose style may be too much risk for a Patriots team that tend to be risk adverse. However, as mentioned last week when looking at Tom Brady’s destination, the Chargers and Patriots run extremely similar offensive styles, which could suit Rivers and make a switch to the North East a relatively easy transition for the veteran QB.