The off-season of the Free Agent Hall of Fame Quarterbacks is upon us and Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Phillip Rivers all enter free agency.
Eli Manning, a borderline Hall-of-Farmer, retired last month. Rivers is the first to officially not be return. Here are the teams that could use him the most.
Cam Newton’s tenure with the Panthers may be coming to an end. After multiple injuries and a new coaching regime, the Panthers might move in another direction. The current QB situation is one of the most unique in the NFL, as Kyle Allen won four, consecutive games for an injured Newton.
However, his play took a downturn. Next was rookie Will Grier, who was dreadful in two starts. Newly-hired offensive coordinator Joe Brady could maximize Rivers. Brady could serve as a veteran mentor
if the Panthers select a QB in this year’s draft. The Panthers don’t lack talent as RB Christian McCaffrey, WRs DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel are talented, skilled players. Their best trait is running after the catch to take pressure off Rivers.
Is Jacoby Brissett a franchise quarterback? That’s the question for the Colts. If the answer is no, Frank Reich, who served as Rivers’ position offensive coordinator at San Diego, may make the call. Playing in the AFC South, Rivers would have a better chance to win a division title.
In the AFC West, the Chiefs dominate. The AFC South could be wide open with a QB upgrade. Before the season, the Colts were in Super Bowl conversations. Rivers isn’t Luck, but teams will have more respect for the Colts with a future Hall of Fame QB under center. The Colts have one of the best offensive lines and running schemes in the NFL.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bruce Arians is one of the greatest QB coaches of the modern era. Jameis Winston has all the physical tools and led the league with 5,109 passing yards in 2019. The downside is, he leads the league with 30 interceptions. After a 7-9 season and talent across both sides of the ball, it’s time for a playoff appearance.
What Rivers lacks in accuracy on intermediate throws, he makes up for with the deep-ball. There’s little reason to believe Rivers couldn’t make magic with WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Brees might not return to the Saints. Carolina LB Luke Kuechly retired, TE Greg Olsen was released and Newton may leave the Panthers.
The Falcons had a disappointing season. The South is the most wide-open division to win. Rivers could give the Bucs the edge at QB depending on the off-season moves.