Wake-Up Call: How Rivers Rumors Affect the Eagles

Philip Rivers. Denny Medley / USA Today

Philip Rivers. Denny Medley / USA Today

Today’s question comes via email from reader Aadil:

Sheil and Tim – Do you think if the Mariota-Chargers trade doesn’t work out, there is room for the Eagles to trade Bradford (and maybe the insurance picks from St. Louis if he doesn’t play much) for Rivers? Even without a guarantee on an extension? Isn’t Rivers an even more accurate passer and more durable? But Bradford is similar, younger and willing to go to LA (and if he bombs, Chargers get a top pick in 2016 draft and can grab face of future QB for LA)? Make sense for both teams?

Would you do it if you were the Eagles? Chargers?

There’s been a lot of speculation in recent days about how the Philip Rivers rumors could affect the Eagles, so let’s tackle them all at once.

The basis of this whole thing is that Rivers is entering the final year of his deal. If the Chargers move to Los Angeles, which is expected, he reportedly doesn’t want to go with them. If Chargers management is convinced he’s not going to re-sign, maybe San Diego tries to get something for him, especially if it can draft his replacement.

The Titans are the only team that has been linked to Rivers. Ken Whisenhunt was his offensive coordinator in 2013 when Rivers completed a career high 69.5 percent of his passes. Tennessee has ammo with the No. 2 pick, and some have suggested that Rivers would be willing to sign an extension there.

If the Chargers really like Marcus Mariota, they could conceivably make a smooth transition from one franchise quarterback to another.

Rivers is 33, but he’s started 144 consecutive games and has shown no signs of slowing down. If the Titans think they can get four years out of him, maybe they roll the dice.

So what does all this have to do with the Eagles? If you’re holding out hope for a trade up to the No. 2 spot, it’s bad news. The Chargers could offer a package that includes a franchise quarterback with whom the coach is familiar.

As for the initial question here, I just don’t see a scenario where the Chargers could justify flipping Rivers for Sam Bradford. The whole point of potentially parting ways with Rivers would be because they could get Mariota. If that doesn’t happen, they’re better off hanging tight with Rivers. Let him play out 2015, see what happens with Los Angeles, and maybe he changes his mind. If not, there’s always the franchise tag.

Would the Eagles have interest in Rivers? My guess is yes. He’s accurate, smart, tough and durable. I know that Eagles coaches and players raved about his performance in 2013 when the two teams met. He would be a lot of fun in this offense. The problem? There’s no reasonable scenario where I see Bradford as a key trade piece in a potential deal to land Rivers.

One potentially encouraging note for those holding out Mariota hope is that the Titans certainly don’t seem to be sold on him. If they were, it seems unlikely that we’d be hearing all these trade rumors. I still think there’s a pretty good chance Tennessee deals that pick. It could just be a matter of who makes the best offer.


Do you have a Wake-Up Call question? E-mail Tim (tmcmanus@phillymag.com) and Sheil (skapadia@phillymag.com). We’ll pick one submission each month for a free Birds 24/7 t-shirt.


“No one believes Kelly is married to Bradford.” News, notes and rumors from yesterday’s draft buzz thread.

Draft analyst Josh Norris names three prospects who are potential fits for the Eagles.

The Draft Daily focuses on Florida State WR Rashad Greene.

What they’re saying: Were the Eagles looking for picks, not Kiko Alonso, when they shopped LeSean McCoy?


Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly has comments from NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah about UConn CB Byron Jones being more than just a workout warrior.

“I think some people assumed this was — you hear, this guy came out of nowhere, this is an underwear Olympics superstar, there is no tape to back up what you see, and here we go again getting carried way with a workout,” Jeremiah said.

“But I had him in my top 50 going into the combine. I think he was 48 or somewhere around there, and right now I have him at 38, so it wasn’t like this was a meteoric rise based on a workout. He’s a good player when you study him on tape.”

Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice looks at LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins as a potential target for the Eagles in the draft:

Collins is the least thought of Collins of the Collins trio (Landon, Jalen, La’El), but he may very well be the most likely to be picked by the Eagles at 20, if that is where they stay. The overwhelming consensus on Collins is that he is a mean and nasty run blocker who could come in on day one and be productive in a run-heavy offense (cough, Eagles, cough). However, most feel that he does not have the athleticism to be a left tackle in the NFL, so he’ll have to move either inside or over to right tackle. For the Eagles’ purposes, they don’t a left tackle anyway, seeing as they have Jason Peters in the short term, and a capable left tackle currently playing right tackle in Lane Johnson.


Two weeks from tonight, the speculation ends, and we find out how it all unfolds.