Philip Rivers: The Domino Effect

(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY)

The NFL Draft is a little over one week away and the rumor mill continues to churn. Potential deals and landing spots are being floated out in the media. Often times, any news that surfaces this close to the draft is done for jockeying purposes. Teams are looking to get a bigger haul for draft picks or players as they maneuver in the draft. They’re also looking to get players to fall farther in the draft in an attempt to gain more value.

One rumor that seems to have legs is Philip Rivers to the Tennessee Titans for their No. 2 overall pick. This trade makes a ton of sense for both sides.

For the Titans, this trade will land them an elite quarterback, something they haven’t had since Steve McNair. Rivers has one year left on his current deal and is seemingly unhappy with the current state of flux of the Chargers organization and their possible move to Los Angeles. Rivers could be much closer to where he grew up in Decatur, Alabama. He would be able to continue home schooling his seven kids in a place he was comfortable with.

Ken Whisenhunt

(Stephen Dunn – Getty Images)

This deal would also reunite Rivers with Ken Whisenhunt, who was his offensive coordinator two seasons ago in San Diego. They had a successful season together and was one of Rivers most successful seasons in the NFL. The Titans would probably want Rivers to agree to some sort of long term deal before they finalize the deal.

For fantasy football purposes, Rivers’ value would likely benefit from a reunion with Whisenhunt. Rivers threw for almost 4,500 yards and 32 touchdowns with Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator.

The addition of Rivers would help the value of the Titans receiving corps, especially Justin Hunter. Hunter could finally produce to the level many expected to see last season. Kendall Wright would be a PPR monster with Rivers. It would likely help Bishop Sankey to have a quarterback like Rivers under center. Teams would have to focus on the passing attack, leaving a lot less pressure in the box.

For the San Diego Chargers, they would land the No. 2 overall pick in the deal and likely draft Marcus Mariota. The Chargers could start to rebuild with a look toward making the potential transition to Los Angeles.

marcus-mariota

Mariota would likely have fantasy value early in his career. Coach Mike McCoy would need to build the offense around him using the run/pass option, much like his time at the University of Oregon. With Ryan Mathews’ departure, the Chargers could also target a back like Tevin Coleman or David Johnson as a potential speed back that could operate in the pass game. Brandon Oliver, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown could be nice complementary pieces to Coleman or Johnson.

This move would likely hurt Chargers pass catchers Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates, at least initially. Allen was frustrating for fantasy owners last season, often times producing single digits. With Mariota under center it will be much of same for Allen. He will have games where Allen does produce but it will be sporadic and hard to predict.

If anything actually comes to fruition with this deal it would provide a lot of intrigue. Rivers would drastically change expectations for the Titans and change the Chargers 2015 outlook in the process. We can wait to see what dominoes may fall.

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