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Rivers-to-Bucs chatter helps the Bucs

All signs point to Philip Rivers and Chargers moving on from one another, but it won't be easy for the veteran quarterback to land another starting job.

With Philip Rivers and family loading up the truck and moving out of Beverly (Hills, that is), plenty of reporters and insiders are connecting dots regarding a 38-year-old quarterback and a 44-year-old franchise that is located in Rivers’ new state of residence: Florida.

The Buccaneers, they’re saying, are a potential destination for Rivers, whose time with the Chargers is ending with a whimper. And that helps the Buccaneers in their looming negotiations with Jameis Winston.

If the Bucs are going to be moving on from Winston, they need a viable alternative. Rivers, for negotiation purposes, provides enough of a plausible possibility to allow the Bucs to squeeze Winston to take less than what he’d otherwise wants.

It’s not clear what Winston wants. On one hand, he threw for more than 5,100 yards in 2019. On the other, he also threw 30 interceptions. (Rivers seems like a zealous guardian of the football in comparison, with “only” 20 interceptions.) It’s also not clear whether the Buccaneers want Winston, but they should. Rivers isn’t an upgrade, and he’d be a short-term fix at best.

The Rivers talk isn’t relevant until the Winston issue is resolved. But the possibility of Rivers could make it easier for the Bucs to keep Winston, since it would give teeth to whatever their take-it-or-leave-it offer to Winston may be.