Philip Rivers’ future with the LA Chargers remains uncertain, as does the plight of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jamie’s Winston following head coach Bruce Arians’ comments. Could Rivers and Arians be a perfect match?
With SoFi Stadium scheduled to open in July 2020, yet another new dawn awaits for the few remaining Charger fans that have endured throngs of opposing fans at their temporary home in Carson, California.
Three years after unceremoniously deciding to leave the city of San Diego as the lure of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in Los Angeles proved to be an opportunity owner Dean Spanos just couldn’t refuse. The 2020 Chargers will look repair the discord between the fans and ownership as they turn the page on a new chapter with the move into the shared facility in Inglewood, California.
However, many feel the damage is irreparable as even fewer Chargers fans are expected to embark on the journey further north. The burning question pondered by many is whether or not quarterback Philip Rivers will follow suit and find pigskin joy elsewhere?
Philip Rivers Situation
The L.A. Chargers closed out an underwhelming 2019 season with a 31-21 defeat by the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium resulting in the Chargers finishing with a 5-11 record.
After 16 years with the Chargers, Rivers’ was full of emotion and sentiment during a press conference following the game’s conclusion. The general undertone was that the 38-year-old was saying goodbye whilst reassuring any potential suitors that he can still play at a high level.
“Whether it’s exactly the end or not, which it still could be, but either way we’re probably on the 16th playing a little par-three with only two holes to go,” said Rivers, “I’m definitely on that backstretch, and there’s been times I’ve been a little emotional. Even at the house, talking through things and thinking about, man, the last blitz protection meeting, or the last bus ride.”
On considering playing elsewhere, “Yes, I plan to play football, so yes. Where that is going to be will get sorted out over the next few months. I’ve never been in this position; I don’t even know when the league year starts. We’ll just kind of see. I’m very thankful for the 16 years, and if there’s another, I’ll be thankful for that.”
Jameis Winston Situation and team options
An air of uncertainty surrounds the quarterback position in Tampa following Jameis. Winston’s traumatically bizarre season. The unbuckled hilarity of Winston’s decision making has turned the ever crimson brow of head coach Bruce Arians into a supernova of frustration. As the 25-year-old became the first person in NFL history to throw 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions during the regular season.
Winston is out of contract this offseason and the Buccaneers need to make a decision on the number one overall selection of the 2015 draft. During five seasons as the signal-caller in Tampa, the Buccaneers have conjured up one winning season (2016) despite an abundance of talent at Winston’s disposal. Let’s explore the options available.
- Nonexclusive franchise tag: One year contract at the cost of the average of the top five paid quarterbacks (roughly $26.7m). Free to negotiate with other teams, Bucs could match any potential offers or decline to resulting in two first draft picks.
- Exclusive franchise tag: As above but unable to negotiate with potential suitors. Gives the Bucs time to work out a long term deal or to trade Winston.
- Transition Tag: Cheaper version of the franchise tag. Winston would earn the average of the top ten paid quarterbacks ($24.3m), would be able to negotiate with teams. Bucs would have the option to match any offers but would receive no compensation should they choose to decline.
- Long term Contract: Four/five-year deal. Winston reportedly seeking $30m.
- Short Term contract: Three-year deal, a huge portion of the money as signing bonus, easy to cut ties (cap hit perspective) in year two/three.
Of course, the Buccaneers can simply let Winston walk out the door. A scenario that could well happen, especially when listening to Head coach Bruce Arians remarks on Winston’s overall play during 2019.
“If we can win with this [quarterback], we can definitely win with another one, too”
“That’s one of the things I’m going to have to evaluate,” Arians said. “You look at it and there’s so much good and so much outright terrible.
“You’re not going anywhere. … You’re going home if you lead the league in giveaways. You’re never going to play in the playoffs. Unless you’re playing for the Steelers in the ’70s. It smells as bad as it could possibly smell and it’ll smell that way for a long time.”
Which leads me to ponder whether or not Bruce Arians really wants to be remembered as part of the brain trust that was responsible for squandering millions on a quarterback. Especially one with an uncanny ability to self destruct at any given moment whilst holding the franchise hostage year after year.
Will the 67-year-old be unable to resist the temptation of rehashing the veteran presence under center. Turning the Arizona Cardinals into genuine Super Bowl contenders year after year before a multitude of devastating injuries derailed Arian’s vision.
River and Arians the perfect fit?
Philip Rivers fits the veteran mold Arians endured success during his five-year tenure with the Cardinals. Granted Rivers would be four years older than when Carson Palmer (34) and Arians worked together.
Add to the equation the durability of Rivers, the 38-year-old hasn’t missed a start in over 13 seasons. Along with stability and consistency, averaging 4373.3 passing yards and 29.3 touchdowns during the last seven years. Has the ‘no risk it, no biscuit’ attitude that Arians relishes. Let’s not forget leadership and passion, none of this pregame ‘Let’s eats a W’ nonsense.
Rivers’ overall play and toughness is a prominent feature when looking back over the career of the future Hall of Famer tight end Antonio Gates. Image what he could do for the talented tight end duo of O.J Howard and Cameron Brate. Then there’s the prospect of Rivers throwing to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, what’s not to like if your a Buc’s fan?