The offseason of quarterback roulette continued Tuesday as Philip Rivers agreed to a one-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
The 38-year-old quarterback will reunite with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who spent two seasons as the Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive coordinator with Rivers from 2014-15 before taking on the same role with the Eagles in 2016. Reich was key to the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl run before taking the Colts’ head-coaching job in 2018.
Rivers moves on after 16 seasons with the Chargers. The eight-time Pro Bowler struggled at times last season, throwing 23 touchdowns to 20 interceptions, the worst ratio of his career and one interception shy of his career-high. The Chargers went 5-11, with nine of their losses by a touchdown or less.
The Colts were on the quarterback market after Andrew Luck retired abruptly last August. They went 7-9 with Jacoby Brissett stepping into the starting role, but decided to move on to Rivers. The Colts traded the No. 13 pick in next month’s draft to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, taking them out of the running for a first-round quarterback to start next season. Instead, they’ll go with Rivers.
The Panthers, on Tuesday, gave quarterback Cam Newton permission to seek a trade.
Newton is a three-time Pro Bowler and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2015 after throwing 35 touchdown passes and scoring 10 rushing touchdowns en route to a 15-1 season. Injuries have slowed Newton in recent years, though. The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder missed most of last season with a foot injury that required surgery. He’s also battled shoulder problems over the past few seasons.
The Panthers hired former Temple and Baylor coach Matt Rhule to a long-term contract earlier this year and appear to be starting fresh. According to several media reports, the Panthers are signing Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $60 million contract in the wake of the Newton news.
Bridgewater spent the last two seasons as the backup with the New Orleans Saints. Bridgewater relieved Drew Brees last season for five games and threw nine touchdowns and won all of his starts. The 27-year-old spent almost two years recovering from a devastating leg injury in 2015 after spending his first three seasons as an up-and-coming starter with the Minnesota Vikings.
Newton took to social media to assert that the Panthers are forcing him out rather than his requesting a trade, commenting on a Panthers post on Instagram.
Newton said the Panthers forced him into finding a trade, asking them to stop with the word play.
The Cowboys lost their best cornerback on Monday, and one of their best pass rushers on Tuesday.
Robert Quinn, who led the team with 11.5 sacks last season, will sign a five-year, $70 million contract to join the Chicago Bears, according to several media reports.
Quinn’s departure was expected, as Dallas spent the majority of its cap space on quarterback Dak Prescott, who was locked down by the $31.5 million franchise tag, and wide receiver Amari Cooper, who agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract Monday night.
Quinn, 29, was one of the most efficient pass rushers in the NFL last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He ranked ninth in PRP, a formula that factors in sacks, hurries, and quarterback hits relative to the number of rushes a player gets per game.
He’s recorded four seasons with double-digit sacks and had 33 hurries last year.
Jason Witten, the longest-tenured player in Dallas Cowboys history, intends to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders when free agency begins, agreeing to a one-year deal in which he could make up to $4.75 million, according to a source.