Philip Rivers said a thing. That thing then set the internet world abuzz and the rumor mill began churning. People said a lot of things. Some of those things have involved Tennessee and Buffalo. Still, there’s about zero actual information supporting the churning. But hey, the offseason needs its fuel.
A couple of things happened in the last two weeks. One, Marcus Mariota’s name came up in a workout with the Chargers in April. That’s odd, and provided an ounce of fuel. I mean, maybe they are checking him out for the future, in the event he slides like Aaron Rodgers did to the Packers when they already had Brett Favre. Or maybe, just maybe . . .
Then, Rivers talked to Kevin Acee in an article that appeared last week. Rivers is a free agent after the 2015 season. He’s not extending his contract yet. There’s no clear indication that Rivers is taking this stance to posture to get more money. Yeah, his market value could go up as he approaches free agency, but the Chargers still would have the franchise tag option to provide more time to reach a deal. At least according to Acee, “Rivers is as frank and unencumbered by agenda as perhaps any star athlete in modern times.”
“What we’ve established here with my growing family is hard to recreate,” he said. “It’s hard to up and recreate that. I know that moves are part of life. But that certainly is fair to say that (not being sold on moving to Los Angeles) is part of it. The good thing is I’m not under contract in a year where we’d potentially be in Los Angeles.”
He’s 33. He has a family and seven kids. Believe me, the prospect of change there is not inviting. Rivers does have leverage in that he is the star quarterback, not the reserve guard. He has plenty of money in the bank and doesn’t have to jump at the money this year.
Still, that sent out the chum in the water. The Tennessee dots were there to be connected. Ken Whisenhunt, the current head coach in Tennessee, was offensive coordinator two years ago in San Diego. Rivers is from northern Alabama, about a two-hour drive directly south from Nashville. They have the 2nd overall pick in the draft. Rivers likes bolo ties.
It appears the NFL-owned website connected the dots first. And GM Tom Telesco said, “I don’t like Philip as our QB, I love him, and I’ll go to war with him.” So while that might seem like a GM not inclined to trade a player, it wasn’t an outright denial. While that might seem silly, it is the world that the NFL front offices have created with their duplicity, particularly at this time of year. (Of course, if he had come directly out and said it, there still would have been questions.)
Mike Florio and a host of others took it on.
SO ALL OF A SUDDEN . . . MAY BE . . . MAYBE . . . IF . . . TWIST . . . MAYBE . . . POSSIBLY . . . MAYBE.
Will Brinson included a Titans trade for the #2 overall pick to San Diego in his mock draft on Friday. Sure, would Rivers, if he really wants to see how things play out and be concerned about potentially having to move, really be excited for a move? And would you want to trade a ton for him? But let’s not think about that.
So the Titans rumors at least make sense for the Chargers, only kinda sorta, because they have the draft capital to make a push if San Diego wants to get really, really bold.
But the Bills rumors also has began creeping up “on the internet.” Unlike the Titans, though, the Bills’ stuff appears to be completely made out of thin cloth and what somebody who saw Ferris at 31 Flavors may have heard. Lots of chatter among the Bills’ twitter fans (#Billsmafia), but no one with any heft even connecting dots. I mean, if Rivers is worried about a move to LA–and I offer this as someone who lives in KC, Buffalo folks, so don’t shoot the messenger–let’s just say a move to upstate New York isn’t going to be making him do flips. [Update: resident upstate New Yorker and Jimmer Fredette fan Stephen Douglas advises me that Buffalo is not considered upstate New York.] Buffalo doesn’t have the draft capital to even make it worth the Chargers’ troubles. Let’s just say that while you can dream, it ain’t happening.
As Philip Rivers said in that piece with Kevin Acee: “Rumors. You can find rumors on anything on the Internet. I think I could even find rumors on the Internet that I get too worked up in games.”
Oh, and Tom Telesco has now come out and said that the Chargers have no backup plan for trading Philip Rivers. Choose to believe what you want.