Despite being tabbed to use their second overall draft pick on Marcus Mariota, the current stream of voices coming from the Tennessee Titans suggests it’s Philip Rivers they’re going after, with head coach Ken Whisenhunt pushing for a trade.
Lets put everything in order and perspective. The Titans have the number two overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. A team that needs a quarterback can go for one of the many talented pass rushers which some mock drafts sense they will. However, as the overall consensus seems to suggest the Tampa Bay Buccaneers using the number one pick on Jameis Winston (not such a sure thing anymore as well), Mariota going at number two sounds very reasonable.
And what about the talk of Whisenhunt going with Zach Mettenberger? As a rule, don’t believe most of what you read this time of year, and the closer we get to the draft the weirder the rumors become. But Rivers to the Titans which allows the Chargers to pick a new quarterback as they probably head to Los Angeles does make some sort of sense.
The move to Los Angeles and Rivers’ expiring deal is the basis of all this. The Chargers might be the strongest candidate to move to Los Angeles, and Rivers, who has been with the Chargers since 2004 and doesn’t really want to move his family around (except for one other place) seems to be adamant that he won’t be playing in Los Angeles, hence the trade rumors. He has only one more year on his contract, and if the Chargers can get something for him knowing that re-signing him is a problem, they might actually pull this off.
Is Rivers worth a first round pick? Is Mariota worth trading a franchise quarterback like Rivers for, pulling off a huge gamble? Ken Whisenhunt was with the Chargers as an assistant in 2013 before he landed the Titans job, helping Rivers to probably his best season, helping the Chargers get back into the postseason. Putting the two together again doesn’t sound like such a bad idea on both fronts.
And what about the family thing? Rivers is originally from Alabama, and his hometown wouldn’t be too far away from Nashville. If it comes down to playing in Tennessee or moving with the Chargers to Los Angeles (even though San Diego isn’t that far away from LA, which sometimes makes it hard to understand the reasoning behind all this for Rivers), Rivers probably prefers moving back to SEC country.