Philip Rivers said he is moving his family to Florida to be closer to relatives in Alabama amid speculation that his days as the Chargers quarterback are over.
“What this means football-wise is to be determined but it was time for us to move back closer to home,” Rivers said Sunday in a text message reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.
The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Tom Krasovic writes that “a home in the Florida panhandle has afforded the Rivers family a getaway spot that’s closer to the couple’s parents in Alabama.”
What the move means football-wise could conceivably relate to the Buccaneers, who have yet to commit to Jameis Winston. The former No. 1 overall pick in 2015, who turned 26 on Jan. 6, owns virtually every franchise passing record but is coming off the first 30-touchdown pass, 30-interceptions season in NFL history.
A breakup between Rivers and the Chargers seems more and more likely. Meanwhile, Pro Football Network’s Ben Albright confirms there is an "increasing amount of chatter,,'' at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., about Rivers coming to Tampa Bay to replace Winston. Albright is also reporting the Bucs are showing an increasing amount of interest in Washington quarterback Jacob Eason. Tampa Bay owns the No. 14 overall pick,
Presumably Rivers would serve as a bridge quarterback to help the Bucs break their 12-year playoff drought while Eason or a younger quarterback develops.
Rivers, 38, took over as the Chargers starter in 2006, promptly led them to four straight AFC West titles and hasn’t missed a start since. The Chargers went 12-4 in 2018 and defeated Baltimore in the wild-card round but slipped to 5-11 this season and were winless in the AFC West.
If the Bucs are looking for a more efficient passer, Rivers may not be their first choice. He threw 23 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions in 2019, when his total quarterback rating slipped to 48.9, second-lowest of his career. Winston’s 2019 quarterback rating was 57.1.
In only season as a starter, Eason passed for 3,132 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Eason could easily slip to the second round where the Bucs would likely consider him with the 45h overall pick.