After 16-Year Career With Chargers, Philip Rivers to Enter NFL Free Agency

  • After 16 years with the Chargers, QB Philip Rivers will be entering NFL Free Agency
  • Last month, Rivers would move his family from San Diego to Florida, fueling speculation
  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are +200 favorites to land Rivers in the betting odds

After months of speculation, it’s finally official: After 16 years with the Chargers organization in both San Diego and Los Angeles, Philip Rivers has decided to leave and enter NFL Free Agency next month.

Both the Chargers and Rivers decided to mutually part ways in a joint announcement on Monday, allowing their long-time quarterback to exit on his own terms and it being his own decision for the most part. Tom Telesco, general manager of the Los Angeles Chargers, said that the time of this move will “allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020.”

At 38 years old now, Philip Rivers is the most accomplished quarterback in the history of the Chargers, however, he would give us a pretty good hint in January that this was coming when he mentioned that his family had moved from San Diego to Florida.

Last season, Los Angeles would tally a 5-11 record and would finish last in the AFC West division, and a lot of the blame was in the direction of Rivers, who would have his worst season since the 2007 campaign. In total, Rivers would throw for 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

“After stepping back a bit from last season, we reconnected with Philip and his representative 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,” said Telesco. “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.

“We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020.”

In his career, Rivers has put up the sixth most passing yards and touchdowns in the history of the National Football League — he has a total of 59,271 passing yards and 597 touchdowns. In 14 years as the starting quarterback of the Chargers, he has put them in the playoffs in six of those seasons, and this includes a berth in the 2007 AFC Championship.

“I am very grateful to the Spanos family [Chargers ownership] and the Chargers organization for the last 16 years,” Rivers would say in an official statement. “In anything you do, it’s the people you do it with that make it special. There are so many relationships and memories with coaches, support staff and teammates that will last forever, and for that I am so thankful.

“I never took for granted the opportunity to lead this team out on to the field for 235 games. We had a lot of great moments, beginning in San Diego and then finishing in L.A. I wish my teammates and coaches nothing but the best moving forward.

“I’m not sure what the future holds, but my family and I look forward to seeing what God has planned for us next.”

Philip Rivers could possibly be the first domino to fall in what could be an exodus of high-profile quarterbacks from their current teams into NFL Free Agency. With Rivers now placed into the market, he could be joined by the likes of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston and Teddy Bridgewater.

Betting Odds: Where Philip Rivers Will Play in the 2020 Season

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers | +200
  • Indianapolis Colts | +300
  • Carolina Panthers | +400
  • Las Vegas Raiders | +400
  • Miami Dolphins | +550
  • New Orleans Saints | +2000
  • Tennessee Titans | +2000
  • Dallas Cowboys | +3300
  • New England Patriots | +3300

The Best Betting Options for Where Philip Rivers Will Land

Tampa Bay Buccaneers | +200

The betting odds have spoken in favor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and there’s a reason for that: There’s a ton of heat here. First off, we know the Bucs have been thinking about moving on from Jameis Winston for quite some now, and second, multiple sources are reporting that Tampa Bay has “legitimate” interest in Philip Rivers. But that’s not all, you also have ESPN reporting that Philip Rivers to the Buccaneers is a “real possibility,” which has led to headlines such as ‘5 reasons Philip Rivers to Buccaneers could totally work’ and ‘Why the Buccaneers should go all-out to reunite Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon in Tampa Bay.’ And speaking of ESPN, you also have their Bill Barnwell predicting that Rivers will be a Buccaneer. ClutchPoints is also getting in on the action: ‘Philip Rivers could land with Tampa Bay’— like I said, ladies and gentlemen, there’s a ton of steam coming from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And this is why they’re your favorite in the betting odds, and with Philip Rivers relocating his family to Florida, you have to place your money on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this bet — at least for right now.

Indianapolis Colts | +300

Like with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there’s a ton of heat coming from the Indianapolis Colts-Philip Rivers connections. You had a power prediction from Pro Football Focus just recently, having Rivers landing with the Colts, which explains their second-place +300 betting odds. But that’s not all. You also had Forbes Magazine day-dreaming about Rivers going to Indianapolis as well with the headline of ‘Why Philip Rivers And Indianapolis Colts Actually Make Sense Together.’ Plain and simple, the Colts don’t trust Jacoby Brissett to be their franchise quarterback, and that’s why they’re looking at the services of other QB’s — including Rivers, who NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Indianapolis has interest in. He would also say that the Colts are the “most logical” fit for the quarterback. Dan Patrick is going even further, reporting on his radio show that the most likely destination for Rivers will be with Indy. And then you have this gem from Sportscasting: ‘Will Philip Rivers Get 1 More Shot at a Super Bowl with the Colts?’ — there’s a load of reasons to place a bet on the Indianapolis Colts, a lot of smoke.

Tennessee Titans | +2000

There have been rumors involving Philip Rivers possibly going to the Tennessee Titans, but no cementing reports that have been featured with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts. However, you have to think that Tennessee will definitely be in the mix — do they really think Ryan Tannehill will be the quarterback to lead them to the promise land? I’m not seeing it, and I don’t think they are either. It’s also been rumored that the Titans have interest in Tom Brady, but with the New England Patriots viewing the Los Angeles Chargers as the only real threat to steal away his services, Tennessee may invest more resources into Rivers. At this point, however, there’s nothing more than just rumors and headlines that read: ‘Philip Rivers Signing With Tennessee Titans?’ and ‘Could Philip Rivers end up with the Titans?’ — there really isn’t much here other than that from Tennessee, so it’s safe to say, at least at the moment, that it’s just a two-horse race between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts.(And there’s been nothing at all coming from the other teams included in the betting odds.)

BETTING PREDICTION: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+200)

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Andrew Powell / Author

Andrew Powell has been working with The Sports Geek since November 2018 providing analysis and predictions in both the realms of sports and politics. Studying journalism through the University of Michigan, Powell's experience in sports includes tenures at mainstream newspapers The Williamsport Sun-Gazette and The Lock Haven Express, and he would also be affiliated with FOX Sports Radio 1340 AM in Hopewell, Virginia. In politics, it would include a stint with Mad World News and multiple with the Republican Party. From the Super Bowl to The Kentucky Derby to President Donald Trump's hair, Powell has you covered at The Sports Geek.