Tuesday was officially the day of veteran quarterback news in the NFL. Tom Brady kicked things off by announcing he was going to sign somewhere other than New England, with the Bucs and Chargers the presumptive frontrunners for his services.
After that, Drew Brees inked a two-year, $50 million deal to stay with the Saints and, one assumes, retire there. The Saints divisional rivals in Carolina announced they were moving on from Cam Newton and “allowing” him to seek a trade, which Newton claims was forced upon him and that he wants to still be a Panther, but they have already moved to sign Teddy Bridgewater as his replacement.
Around the same time, Jason La Canfora of CBS reported Philip Rivers was working out a deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
Colts are finalizing a deal with Philip Rivers and the Panthers are closing in on Teddy Bridgewater
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 17, 2020
There was no further reporting on that until later in the afternoon, when Judy Batista and Ian Rapoport brought some word that a deal was close to done and it would be in the $25 million a year range for Rivers in Indy. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports it is a 1-year deal.
They’ve been inching closer all day. This should come in around $25M per year when it’s done. https://t.co/mo4QmCmYBw
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2020
Former Chargers' QB Philip Rivers and the Colts reached agreement on a 1-year deal, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020
What this means for Jacoby Brissett is unknown. Brissett signed a new deal in Indy to give him starter money after Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement, but Rivers wouldn’t be joining a team for that kind of money to not start. Given that it’s a one-year deal, it’s possible they intend to keep Brissett as well, but that doesn’t seem like a situation someone hoping to start would want to be in. Indy seemingly recognizes the opportunity to step into the void in the AFC South, with the Titans doubling down on Ryan Tannehill, the Texans selling off DeAndre Hopkins, and the Jaguars tearing down for an apparent rebuild. The Rivers deal and trading a first for DeForest Buckner indicates they intend to make a playoff run this year.