The Bears are deep in "offseason mode," likely poring over research from the 2020 Senior Bowl and, of course, going over their options to improve the roster amid what should be a very intriguing free agency period in less than two months. Among Bears fans, the anti-Trubisky crowd definitely is in support of the Bears adding a quality quarterback (or two for that matter) to challenge for the starting job and even the staunchest of Mitchell Trubisky supporters would admit it that it would be wise to add another quality backup quarterback to the Chicago roster.
As of Monday, it appears that another high-profile name is hitting the market.
Who will the Chargers have under center next year? 👀 pic.twitter.com/b8lapO1DFW— theScore (@theScore) January 27, 2020
The Los Angeles Chargers are reportedly "moving on" from quarterback Phillip Rivers — though NFL.com Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Chargers would consider franchise-tagging him.
Rivers is the Chargers' franchise leader in passing yards (59,271), touchdowns (397), fourth quarter comebacks (27) and game-winning drives (32). Rivers' passing yards, passing touchdowns, and passer rating (95.1) all rank within the top-10 all-time. But while Rivers obviously has had a great career, last season was anything but "great" for the 38-year-old signal-caller.
In the 2019 NFL regular season Rivers threw for 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions as the Chargers went 5-11, finishing dead-last in the AFC West. Rivers' numbers were disappointing last season, though his passing yards were an improvement over 2018. When you stack up 2019 Trubisky vs. Rivers, you notice that Rivers has Trubisky bested in every major passing category besides interceptions, where Rivers' 20 picks double up Trubisky's total from last season.
The only (and we repeat, only) way the Bears would be interested in bringing in Rivers was if they are truly convinced he can help put the 2020 Bears over the top. The Bears do have a strong support system for a quarterback right now, with a stellar defense that was in the top-10 in DVOA and a big-play receiver in Allen Robinson. The main issue in a hypothetical Rivers-in-Chicago scenario is: would he even have enough time in the pocket to make big plays?
The Bears ranked 25th in Pro Football Focus' offensive line rankings. That figure is obviously not great but actually ranked four spots ahead of the Chargers at 29th. So ultimately, along with a starting job, it would likely take a guarantee to make improvements along the O-line to bring Rivers onto the Bears. But the "Rivers-to-Chicago" door could be closed soon as it appears he does have legit interest around the league, particularly from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Hearing a lot of buzz about Tampa as a possible landing spot for Philip Rivers. As reported back in late November, he and the Chargers were likely headed to a parting of the ways— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 20, 2020
With the Senior Bowl in the rearview mirror and free agency fast approaching, all of Bears faithful will be locked in on what the organization decides to do in terms of adding depth at quarterback. Is Rivers actually an option Ryan Pace and Co. would consider? And if they did go after and acquire Rivers, would he even be an upgrade over Trubisky?
Those questions will be answered soon but for now, Bears fans can simply enjoy the wait for the official start of NFL free agency (March 18) as more and more interesting quarterbacks hit the market.