The Colts gave QB Philip Rivers a one-year, $25MM deal this offseason in the hopes that Rivers’ familiarity with Indy’s offensive system and a strong O-line will allow the 38-year-old to recapture some of his former magic. And if he does, look for the team to bring Rivers back in 2021.
Colts head coach Frank Reich told reporters, including Mike Chappell of CBS 4, that he fully anticipates a multi-year relationship with Rivers (Twitter link). That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that Reich championed the Rivers signing and has repeatedly said that he has no concerns about the eight-time Pro Bowler’s abilities at this point in his career. Plus, Rivers himself has stated that he wants to play for two more seasons, so if he performs well in 2020, it stands to reason that both sides would want to run it back the following year.
On the other hand, the Colts have also said that they still see 2019 starter and current QB2 Jacoby Brissett as a potential long-term answer, but if the team re-signs Rivers in 2021, Brissett — who is entering the last year of his current deal — will almost certainly seek greener pastures elsewhere. Indianapolis also selected Washington QB Jacob Eason in the fourth round of this year’s draft, and he could take over as Rivers’ backup next season if Brissett leaves.
Of course, this may all be a moot point. There is understandably plenty of concern about how Rivers will play this year given his difficult 2019 campaign, and though playing behind a terrific O-line will help, not all of Rivers’ struggles last season can be attributed to the Chargers’ comparatively weak offensive front. If Rivers looks more like the 2019 version of himself than the 2018 edition, then Brissett and Eason could both become starting options, and the Colts could also look for a first-round signal-caller.
Reich, however, does not expect that to happen and fully believes Rivers’ end-of-career stint in Indianapolis will cover at least two seasons.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.