Amid rumors that have mostly linked Philip Rivers to the Indianapolis Colts in the lead-up to the 2020 NFL free agency period, the latest whispers behind the scenes suggest that a surprising team may have recently entered the sweepstakes for the soon-to-be-former Los Angeles Chargers quarterback.
Quoting comments made by Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager on Wednesday’s episode of The Herd with Colin Cowherd on FS1, Bleacher Report wrote that an unnamed “crazy dark horse” team has apparently emerged as a candidate to sign Rivers. The 38-year-old veteran has played his entire 16-season NFL career for the Chargers, though he has since become one of the league’s more notable free-agent targets after the team announced in February that they would not be re-signing their longtime starting signal-caller.
Despite a difficult 2019 campaign where he threw 23 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions, and played for a Chargers team that finished with a 5-11 record, Rivers will still be entering free agency as an eight-time Pro Bowler who is the NFL’s sixth-ranked quarterback in terms of both all-time passing yards (59,271) and passing touchdowns (397).
As previously noted by The Inquisitr, the Colts appear to be among the favorites to sign Rivers with just a few weeks remaining before the start of the free-agency period. Reports have suggested that Indianapolis is “vetting” the former No. 4 overall draft pick as the organization decides on whether to bring him on to compete with — or replace — incumbent starter Jacoby Brissett, who performed decently last season as the Colts’ new No. 1 quarterback following Andrew Luck’s unexpected retirement. But despite getting picked just six times, Brissett threw for only 18 touchdowns while leading the Colts to a 7-9 record in 2019.
From our @NFLTotalAccess pre-Combine show: The mutual interest between the #Colts and FA QB Philip Rivers isn't much of a secret, but Rivers could have other options, as well. pic.twitter.com/pjM5QiSi2S
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2020
Speculating about the identity of the unnamed “dark horse” in the Rivers sweepstakes, Bleacher Report mentioned several organizations that haven’t been involved very frequently in free-agency rumors but may also be in need of some help at the quarterback position. These include the Cleveland Browns — whose starter, Baker Mayfield, had a subpar sophomore campaign in 2019 — and the Denver Broncos, who had a rookie signal-caller in Drew Lock starting for most of the season.
In both of the aforementioned cases, the outlet pointed out that Rivers could offer these young quarterbacks some competition or mentorship as they continue to adjust to life in the NFL.
In addition, the Dallas Cowboys were suggested as a potential dark horse, given the rumors that Dak Prescott might soon be on his way out, while the Carolina Panthers were brought up due to the possibility of Cam Newton getting traded after an injury-plagued 2019 season.