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Philip Rivers Reportedly Contacted The 49ers And Dolphins About A Comeback Late Last Season, But The Panthers Are His Best 2023 Fit

Legendary NFL personality Rich Eisen dropped quite the fucking segment about the five juiciest rumors he heard while attending the NFL Combine. Sorry Philip Rivers, I'll keep this PG in your datgum honor. Ulterior motives are at play as to why I'm not embedding the entire Eisen video, but the tweet above captures the essence of the Rivers-related scuttlebutt from Indy.

I can't help but think what could have been if Rivers had returned for either the Niners or Dolphins. Imagine if the 49ers could've turned to him once Brock Purdy went down in the NFC Championship Game. Pretty sure San Francisco could've knocked the Eagles off, perhaps beaten the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, and finally gotten Rivers that Lombardi Trophy he's missing from his resume.

We last saw Rivers on an NFL field for the Colts, when he almost led them to an upset of the Bills on the road a little over two years ago. The wily vet hung 309 passing yards on his last opponent in a 27-24 loss. Not bad! In his final season as a pro, Rivers logged a respectable 97.0 passer rating and threw for over 4,000 yards for an 11-5 Indianapolis team. Then he peaced out to go coach high school football.

SPEAKING OF NEAR-UPSETS IN BUFFALO, Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins nearly pulled that off this past postseason despite starting seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson at QB. Maybe Miami goes on a deeper run with Rivers. As long as he could get it out quick behind that suspect offensive line to the likes of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, pretty sure Old Man Phil would have balled out. Or at the very least, he could've helped McDaniel out with some of those pesky play-calling timing woes.

Given that Eisen said he heard this from multiple people, the sourcing seems sound. What does this mean, though? It's a crazy-enough offseason as far as the QB carousel is concerned. Rivers turns 42 in December. I guess he must've been inspired by how long Tom Brady managed to extend his career and how the GOAT won a Super Bowl at age 43.

The wholesome trash-talking, weird-throwing, perpetually-procreating Philip Rivers is someone I'd love to see back in the NFL for one last stand. While I question how much juice is left in that right arm and am pretty sure he can't break the 5.5-second barrier in the 40-yard dash, Rivers could have one more solid year in him with a QB waiting behind him.

Guess who Rivers had as his coach during his one-season Colts stint? Frank Reich, who was also an assistant on the Chargers staff for three years amid Rivers' lengthy Bolts tenure. Reich is now the coach in Carolina, who's in dire need of a signal-caller. By bringing Rivers aboard for 2023 only and drafting either mega-upside prospect between Anthony Richardson and Will Levis, the Panthers could put themselves in an excellent spot for the present and the future.

I'm sure if Rivers is still indeed interested in a comeback, a reunion with Reich in Charlotte would be his preferred landing spot. Then he could get his mentoring fix in by offering counsel to Richardson or Levis, be around an absolutely loaded Panthers staff, and maybe even fast-track his ascent up the coaching ranks. Sounds like a win for everyone. 

If Rivers sucks, well, in goes the rookie and an exciting new era of Carolina football begins. Panthers, please make this happen. Watching Derek Carr in New Orleans and Rivers in Carolina duke it out for the NFC South title would be relentlessly entertaining.

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok