Talk in Tennessee of Titans making a run at Rivers
Trade rumors come and go all the time in the NFL. Sometimes the rumor is quickly denied and disappears. Sometimes the rumor comes to fruition. And then there’s the persistent rumor that the Chargers could trade quarterback Philip Rivers to the Titans for the second overall pick in the draft.
That rumor sounds farfetched, and yet it’s not going away. Today’s installment of the discussion comes from David Climer of the Tennesseean, who writes that the Titans are unlikely to use the second overall pick on either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, but would like to add a quarterback. Among the dots being connected to lead to the conclusion that Rivers is in play:
Rivers isn’t signing a new contract with the Chargers, meaning his future with the team is uncertain. Rivers reportedly wouldn’t want to move to Los Angeles along with the Chargers if they leave for San Diego, and the Chargers may want a quarterback they can be sure is there for the long run, and not just for one more year.
The Chargers are interested in Mariota. San Diego has scheduled a workout for Mariota, which wouldn’t make a lot of sense if the Chargers weren’t considering trading up to get him. It’s unlikely that Mariota will be there for the Chargers with the 17th overall pick in the draft.
Rivers has a connection with Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt. Rivers said at the end of the 2013 season, when Whisenhunt was the Chargers’ offensive coordinator, that they had worked very well together and that Rivers had no doubt Whisenhunt would succeed in his next head-coaching stop.
The Titans have the cap space to take on Rivers’s contract this year. Tennessee currently has about $26 million in cap space, meaning it could take on Rivers’s $17 million cap hit for this year. Obviously, if the Titans were going to trade the No. 2 overall pick for Rivers, they’d want to work out a long-term contract extension with him. But they can take on his current contract now and worry about an extension later.
Add it all up, and the idea of the Titans making a run at Rivers, and the Chargers taking the No. 2 pick and drafting Mariota, doesn’t sound crazy. It’s an idea worth keeping an eye on as the draft approaches.