We first heard the Philip Rivers to Tennessee Titans rumor at the NFL Owners Meetings two weeks ago in Scottsdale, and although San Diego Chargers head coach, Mike McCoy quickly attempted to put some water on the fire, it continues to smolder.
I think a deal that sends Oregon quarterback, Marcus Mariota to San Diego, and brings Philip Rivers to Nashville makes all the sense in the world. It gives the Tennessee Titans instant recognition, and solves the quarterback issues in Music City for the next five years.
The trade gives head coach, Ken Whisenhunt and his staff time to build a team around a proven quarterback during the remainder of the free agency period and into the 2015 NFL Draft. The Titans can get a nice pick at 17 during the draft, and maybe even an extra pick down the line somewhere to add some weapons for their new quarterback.
Philip Rivers is not Tom Brady, or Payton Manning, but he is a perfect bridge quarterback to the future for this franchise. It buys some time to let their sixth round pick in 2014, Zach Mettenberger to develop, and with an improved defense, a chance to win on Sundays this fall.
The rumor has gained enough traction that both, NBC Sports, and David Climer from The Tennessean are starting to write about it. And why else would the San Diego Chargers be working out Marcus Mariota in the near future? The Chargers have the 17th pick in this month’s draft, and without Tennessee’s help, have no chance at drafting the Oregon star.
The Titans have approximately $26 Million in cap space left, and could easily absorb the $17 Million hit from Rivers in 2015, and buy them some time to work out a contract extension for 2016 and beyond. That would leave them enough room to sign their 2015 draft picks, and a few bucks left over for another player or two to fill out the roster.
Ken Whisenhunt worked as the offensive coordinator in San Diego during the 2013 season after his tenure in Arizona, and worked well with Rivers. Much ado has been made about Marcus Mariota not being the type of quarterback that fits coach Whisenhunt’s system, Philip Rivers would be a perfect fit.
As David Climer reported, Philip Rivers plans to play out his option year in 2015 and move on through free agency. If they want him for another year in 2016, they would need to exercise the franchise tag which could prove to be very expensive for an aging quarterback.
Rivers has said he would not be a part of a move to Los Angles if it were to occur, and because he is from Alabama(less than two hours from LP Field), a move to Nashville would make perfect sense for him, and his large family.
If the Tennessee Titans were to make a selection with the 17th pick, there will be some nice pieces available, especially offensive linemen. Ereck Flowers from Miami(Fl), T.J Clemmings from Pittsburgh, or La’el Collins from LSU.
Most of the good edge rushers will be gone, but Randy Gregory from Nebraska may still be available if the Titans wanted to take a chance with his off-field issues. There should even be a few receivers on the board that would make a nice target for Rivers in Nashville.
A good business deal always ends with both parties winning. That’s why they call it win..win! This would be a deal where both teams get what they want, and is the one possible deal out there that make a ton of sense for both teams.