On Monday, the Los Angeles Chargers and Philip Rivers officially agreed to end a 16-year partnership, thus sending the Pro Bowl quarterback right to free agency, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Drafted fourth overall by the New York Giants in 2004, Rivers was sent to the Chargers in a blockbuster trade that brought Eli Manning (the No. 1 overall pick) to the Big Apple. It turned out to be one of the most equal trades in NFL history.
While Manning led the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl championships in the 2007 and 2011 seasons, Rivers helped the Chargers emerge as a powerhouse in the AFC — leading them to four straight AFC West division titles in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
With Rivers set to enter free agency, there will be no shortage of interested suitors for the future Hall of Famer — especially with so many teams needing to upgrade at the quarterback position.
According to Fanduel Sportsbook (via Bleacher Report Betting), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the betting favorites at +170 to land Rivers, with the Indianapolis Colts second at +200.
Interestingly, retirement is No. 3 on the betting odds at +600, followed by the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins at +900. The New England Patriots are listed as a mega long shot at +3400.
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The Buccaneers and Colts are excellent landing spots for Rivers. Tampa Bay hasn’t committed to retaining Jameis Winston, the first overall pick from 2015. If the Bucs feel the desire to upgrade, they could let Winston leave in free agency while adding a Hall of Fame talent to a roster that’s not lacking in playmakers on offense.
The Colts missed the postseason in 2018, as Jacoby Brissett struggled to produce in favor of the retired Andrew Luck. Head coach Frank Reich is one of the best offensive minds in the game, and he could certainly make it work with Rivers.
It should be a very intense and enticing bidding war for the services at No. 17.
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