NFL Draft: Trade Winds Circle San Diego Quarterback Philip Rivers
Two offseasons ago, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was a signal caller considered in decline. ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski called his play "deteriorating" after the 2012 season.
But his new head coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt revitalized his career, and Rivers went to the Pro Bowl in 2013.
The quarterback could possibly reunite with that coordinator in Tennessee.
Franchise quarterbacks don't grow on trees, so it seems unfathomable that the Chargers would trade Rivers away, but the quarterback has basically give the franchise an ultimatum.
In so many words, Rivers has disapproved of the team's plans to move to Los Angeles, which the Chargers could do before the 2016 season. The quarterback has seven kids and does not wish to move him to Los Angeles:
"What we've established here (San Diego) with my growing family is hard to recreate," Rivers said U-T San Diego. "It's hard to up and recreate that."
Nothing is for certain yet, but the Chargers and Raiders announced plans to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, CA, which is 120 miles from San Diego, CA.
The situation gets worse for San Diego as Rivers is not under contract after this season, and he told U-T San Diego that he does not plan to sign an extension.
This has led many to believe the Chargers could trade Rivers before the draft to the Tennessee Titans for the No. 2 overall pick. In Tennessee, Rivers and Whisenhunt would be reunited while the Chargers would draft Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota with the second pick.
Before making a trade like that, though, the Chargers will have to analyze what kind of effects parting ways with their franchise quarterback will have on the team's popularity in a new city. Without Rivers, the team wouldn't be as marketable, and the Chargers would be competing with the Raiders and maybe also the Rams, for fans' attention.
Presumably, Mariota could be the next face of the franchise, but that is a risk. Rivers is a proven commodity right now.
Of course, if Rivers isn't bluffing and indeed won't move to Los Angeles, does it matter what effects trading away the franchise quarterback has on popularity of the team? From a football perspective, the Chargers would rather get something for Rivers rather than just letting him walk. That is if indeed, staying in San Diego is off the table.