Colts find new QB, agree to one-year deal with longtime Charger Philip Rivers

Less than a year ago, the Indianapolis Colts had one of the best quarterback situations in the NFL.

Andrew Luck was a true franchise quarterback. Jacoby Brissett was a top-end backup. The Colts were coming off a good season and looked like potential Super Bowl contenders.

That changed fast. Luck retired out of the blue. Brissett struggled as a full-time starter. And on Tuesday the Colts made a bold move, agreeing to a deal with Philip Rivers to be their next quarterback.

The contract is just for one year, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The deal is worth about $25 million according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Rivers has spent his entire career with the Chargers and will turn 39 in December. But the Colts were looking for a short-term upgrade with a roster that looked strong when Luck was still on the team.

Philip Rivers will continue his career with the Colts. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Philip Rivers will continue his career with the Colts. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Philip Rivers lands with Colts

Not long after the Super Bowl, the Chargers announced they were parting ways with Rivers.

Rivers had a remarkable career with San Diego, and then Los Angeles. He made the Pro Bowl eight times. He ranks sixth all-time in passing yards and passing touchdowns. He never missed a start with the Chargers. His streak is 224 games and counting.

But he also showed signs of decline last season. Most of his numbers were way down from 2018, as his rating dipped from 105.5 to 88.5 and he threw 20 interceptions. The Chargers went 5-11.

Rivers is at an age in which most quarterbacks have already retired or really struggle. The Colts are hoping he can revive his career with them.

Can Colts bounce back?

Brissett was playing well last season until he hurt his knee against the Steelers. He wasn’t the same quarterback after that, and the Colts clearly had doubts about their ability to compete in the AFC South with him.

If Rivers plays like he did in 2018, or for most of his Chargers career, it’s a worthwhile gamble. The Colts will have a good team around him, starting with a stellar offensive line. They clearly want to win now, as their trade for 49ers defensive lineman DeForest Buckner shows.

The Colts were being patient building a strong team, but that’s when they thought they had Luck for the foreseeable future. Luck left, and the Colts had to change plans. Now they’re betting on Rivers to make them contenders again.

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