With only three weeks remaining before this year’s NFL free-agency period kicks off, the Indianapolis Colts are reportedly looming as one of the top favorites to sign veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, who will become a free agent after playing 16 seasons for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Citing a story from The Athletic‘s Stephen Holder, Bleacher Report wrote on Thursday that the Colts — who finished with a 7-9 record in the 2019 season with Jacoby Brissett behind center — are “vetting” Rivers ahead of the 2020 offseason. This process, as explained, could include “gathering various opinions” from other team executives and insiders, though Holder added that this does not guarantee that Indianapolis will sign the 38-year-old when the free-agency period begins.
“But keep in mind that, whatever you hear or read about the Colts in the coming days and weeks, there is one thing we know for certain: Everything is under consideration,” Holder wrote, as quoted by Bleacher Report.
“Signing a veteran quarterback, drafting a prospect, proceeding with current starter Jacoby Brissett — it is all in play. The final outcome could be any of the above and the situation is fluid.”
The new update came one day after Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the Colts seemingly “make the most sense” for Rivers in free agency. He also mentioned the Las Vegas Raiders as an alternate destination for the longtime signal-caller, a possibility that was raised amid various rumors suggesting that the Raiders’ erstwhile starter, Derek Carr, might be targeted by teams such as the Chicago Bears.
Despite passing for a solid 4,615 yards, Rivers had a rougher-than-usual campaign for the Chargers last year, throwing 23 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions for a team that ended up at last place in the AFC West with a 5-11 record.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2020
Although Brissett posted decent stats (18 touchdown passes, six interceptions, 2,942 passing yards) for the Colts after taking over from the retired Andrew Luck, Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard said last month that the “jury’s still out” on the 27-year-old as the team’s first-string quarterback going forward. That, per an earlier article from Bleacher Report, suggests that the Colts are at least “creating competition” for the starting job in the lead-up to the 2020 free-agency period.
As further noted, Rivers’ struggles in the 2019 season could arguably be blamed in part on injuries to the Chargers’ “ultimately leaky” offensive line. While the eight-time Pro Bowler figures to be one of the NFL’s oldest quarterbacks once the 2020 season kicks off, Bleacher Report speculated that he could benefit from the Colts’ solid offensive line and potentially help the team contend for a playoff spot in the upcoming campaign.