Colts believe Philip Rivers can be a multi-year answer for them at quarterback

Frank Schwab
·3-min read

Philip Rivers is on a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts, but they’re not looking at it as a short-term relationship.

In an interesting tidbit from Colts coach Frank Reich during a conference call with reporters on Monday, he said Rivers planned to play for more than one year and the Colts want him as their quarterback beyond 2020 too.

The Colts still have some backup plans for 2021, but they weren’t overpaying for Rivers’ eventual replacement. Now we know why.

Philip Rivers had a dip in 2019

The Colts drafted Washington quarterback Jacob Eason in the fourth round, but mid-round picks at QB rarely work out. If Eason pans out for the Colts that’s a nice bonus, but they’re not depending on it.

They’re depending on Rivers playing at a high level for at least a couple years.

That’s risky. Rivers was very good in 2018 and his numbers dropped dramatically in 2019 as he turned 38. His passer rating fell from 105.5 to 88.5. He looked like a quarterback closer to retirement than a return to the Pro Bowl.

Maybe Rivers can bounce back with the Colts. They have one of the best offensive lines in football and drafted a couple of skill-position playmakers in the second round with USC receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor. And if Rivers is in an irreversible decline, the Colts are contractually on the hook for only one year.

How many years does Philip Rivers have left? (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
How many years does Philip Rivers have left? (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Rivers has one-year deal

Rivers has a one-year, $25 million deal. Even if there’s an agreement for multiple years in “spirit,” it leaves all options open.

The Colts scrambled at quarterback last year with Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement. Jacoby Brissett was solid for the first part of the season but the Colts soured on him and went in a different direction. Before Luck’s retirement, the Colts were considered a rising contender. Maybe Rivers can help them recapture that.

If he can, Rivers might be around Indianapolis for a while.

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