The news that Philip Rivers has moved his family to Florida is exciting for gossip but has very little impact on the Buccaneers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the midst of one of the biggest personnel conflicts in the team’s short history. The fanbase has begun to cannibalize itself on the basis of little more than Jameis Winston and his future in Tampa Bay. Philip Rivers does not solve this problem.
The fans in Tampa Bay have moved towards two very different extremes regarding Jameis and show no willingness to compromise on their beliefs. Jameis’ rookie contract is now up and the Buccaneers are working on creating a future that will give them the best opportunity to compete in the playoffs.
In the midst of contract talks with Jameis, Philip Rivers has moved his family out of Los Angeles and brought them to Florida complicating the Winston negotiations in the minds of some fans.
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In reality, Philip Rivers could move into the pirate ship in Raymond James stadium and it would matter little for the likelihood of Rivers taking Winston’s spot. If the Buccaneers were to move on from Jameis, which they likely will not, then they would assuredly not move on to Rivers.
Philip Rivers has been a great player for the Chargers over the course of his 16 year career and was able to maintain a level of consistency for the duration of this time.
While Rivers was able to be consistent, he was anything but flashy. It seems incredibly unlikely that the Buccaneers would move away from one of the most physically-talented quarterbacks in the league with an incredibly high ceiling to bring in an aging copy.
Even though it may seem almost blasphemous towards Rivers to refer to him as an older copy of Jameis, it is the truth. Rivers plays eerily similar to Jameis-albeit with better decision making from time to time.
Philip Rivers finished the 2019 season with 4,615 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions. For comparison, Winston finished the season with 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions.
It should also be taken into account that Rivers has been lucky to have two exceptional pass-catching running backs in the form of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, who accounted for more than a fourth of Rivers’ total passing stats in 2019 as easy checkdowns when the plays would fall apart or by design.
Ronald Jones may be a better pass-catcher than his opportunities indicated but Rivers will be lacking in this department heavily in Tampa Bay.
Jameis Winston is essentially Philip Rivers times two. Jameis throws for more touchdowns and passing yards than Rivers, but struggles more with the interceptions and decision making. Winston is a high ceiling, low floor player while Rivers is a low ceiling, high floor player. Winston fits Arians’ mold while Rivers does not.
A proper evaluation of Philip Rivers shows that he is no real upgrade over Jameis, which coupled with his age makes him a very unlikely pickup by Tampa. The only reason that the Bucs would sign Rivers is if they were planning on drafting a rookie, but even then there are likely better free agent options available to serve as a bridge quarterback that would be cheaper.