Rivers Moving On

“Moving on” isn’t just the name of a bad country song. It’s also a choice that NFL teams are making as the offseason is set to begin later this weekend, following the battle between the Chiefs and 49ers. After weeks or even months of speculation surrounding the future of veteran QB Philip Rivers, which came to a head last week when the quarterback and his family moved cross country from California to Florida, we finally have clarity.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported earlier this week that the Chargers have “moved on” from Rivers and he will not be a part of their future. Glazer eventually backtracked slightly, but it is the widely agreed upon assumption that Rivers will not be back with the Chargers. After a steady decline in play on the field, which escalated in 2019, this is not a surprise. Rivers is an unrestricted free agent and has not given any indication that he is ready to step away from the game. Despite his recent poor play and advancing age, there is expected to be a market for Rivers, which could include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who face a major quarterback decision themselves. Their gunslinger and turnover machine QB Jameis Winston is also set to enter free agency.

The quarterback carousel won’t stop there though. Ryan Tannehill is set to be an unrestricted free agent, as are all three Saints QBs, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill. New Orleans HC Sean Payton admitted that retaining all three quarterbacks is “unrealistic,” and also made it clear the team wants Brees back for another season. We can connect the dots to see that Bridgewater, who was undefeated as Saints starter this past season, will be moving on to a new team. Many expected Dallas to lock up QB Dak Prescott prior to last season, but it never happened. Now, Prescott made it clear he is “disappointed” a deal hasn’t already been done. Prescott did suggest he was confident the team would give him the extension, he also announced he does not plan on doing his offseason training in Dallas. Here we go!

Along with all of the unrestricted free agents, the Panthers (Cam Newton), Bengals (Andy Dalton) and Raiders (Derek Carr) have at least been rumored to be ready to move on from their longtime signal-callers. Those three could also land on the open market.

Oh, and then there was this from future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter quickly reported that Brady’s tweet was not related to his football future, but there seems to be some underlying message. Regardless, Brady is free to choose his team, or maybe he does just what is pictured and walks away.

Coaching Carousel

Although it is not exactly a coaching hire, the Cleveland Browns finally got their guy, tabbing former Eagles exec Andrew Berry to be their new general manager. Berry, at just 32 years of age, becomes the league’s youngest GM. … Last week, we knew former Browns HC Freddie Kitchens would have a role on the Giants staff and now it has been reported that he’ll be the TE coach. The Giants have a talented group, including Evan Engram and surprising rookie Kaden Smith. … The Vikings promoted DL coach Andre Patterson to co-defensive coordinator, along with LB coach Adam Zimmer…Longtime Patriots OL coach Dante Scarnecchia announced his retirement after more than 25 years with the team. … Although he was not retained as defensive coordinator, the Texans will keep veteran coach Romeo Crennel on their staff in some capacity. … The Browns hired former Bengals QB coach Alex Van Pelt as their new offensive coordinator. Cleveland also tabbed former Vikings assistant Jeff Howard as their DB coach.

Injury Updates

49ers TE George Kittle revealed that he’s been playing with a torn labrum for the past two seasons. Kittle does not plan to have surgery to repair the injury. … 49ers DL Dee Ford admitted that he’s “not playing at 100%” as he deals with knee and hamstring injuries. … Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky had surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder and he is expected to be fully healed in time for training camp. … 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) was limited in practice and appears to be headed in the right direction, towards an “active” designation for the Super Bowl.

Contract Concerns

The Baltimore Ravens are considering tagging impending free agent S Matt Judon in order to trade him. Judon should be a hot commodity this offseason after a career year in 2019. … The entire NFL is awaiting what will surely be a massive, record-setting contract extension between the Chiefs and QB Patrick Mahomes. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt suggests that deal might have to wait a year though. KC has control over Mahomes for the next two seasons. … The Texans named HC Bill O’Brien as their general manager. It was quite obvious BOB was calling the shots for the past year or more and now it is official. … Dallas beat writer Todd Archer suggests the Cowboys will not re-sign DE Robert Quinn…Free-agent S Devin McCourty already announced he would be playing in 2020 but it might not be for the Patriots, saying “we’ll see how it goes”. … Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins, who has been rumored as a possible cap cut for a while now, suggested on Thursday that if Kansas City wins the Super Bowl, he might sit out the 2020 season, making it clear he is not ready to retire, but could opt to “rest up and chill.” Okay. … Veteran TE Greg Olsen has already been offered a TV job and now the Panthers have announced they are moving on from their long-time starter. Expect Olsen to be released by Carolina after the Super Bowl. Youngster Ian Thomas is expected to take over as the Panthers starting tight end. … Falcons owner Arthur Blank showed some uncertainty about the status of free-agent TE Austin Hooper, saying it “remained to be seen” if the two sides could come to an agreement. After a breakout season, Hooper would be a hot asset on the open market.

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