The pros and cons of the Patriots signing QB Philip Rivers
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The pros and cons of the Patriots signing QB Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers, Patriots

The New England Patriots might be in a spot they haven’t had to worry about for a very long time. They might be looking for a new quarterback this offseason.

Tom Brady apparently is not retiring. There is no guarantee that he’s returning to New England though. In fact, there are rumors swirling about the quarterback and a number of teams, not just the Patriots.

If Brady does not return, New England could turn to another veteran in Philip Rivers. The longtime Los Angeles Chargers quarterback is on the market, and could fit in nicely with the Patriots as a stop-gap. There are negatives too though.

Here are the pros and cons of the Patriots signing Rivers this offseason.


New England will be replacing a veteran with a veteran. Rivers may not have any Super Bowls, like Brady, but he has a ton of experience.

Rivers has been to the playoffs and knows what it’s like to succeed and to fail. He would probably plug right into the offense and not really skip a beat.

Another big positive would be his age. Rivers is 38. He can give the Patriots a few years, while they get a replacement plan in place. That means they can “rebuild” while still winning games. So when Rivers retires in a few seasons, they’ll already have a new starter ready to go.

Finally, the quarterback still has an arm. He struggled last year (20 interceptions) but still threw for 4,615 yards. Rivers made a lot of mistakes in 2019 but in that Bill Belichick offense maybe it would be a lot of positives, dropping the negatives.


Age works to Rivers’ advantage, as it sets the Patriots up to find a replacement. However, it could also hurt them.

What if Rivers retires after one year and they don’t have a replacement? Or they simply feel he isn’t ready? That could cause New England to find themselves in a weird rebuild.

Another issue is the decline. Brady is in somewhat of a decline as well, Rivers went ahead and threw 23 touchdowns compared to 20 interceptions last year though. That’s really bad.

If Rivers is on that type of decline, he’s probably not going to help the Patriots much, if at all. Honestly, he might even be a hindrance.

Finally, Rivers likely won’t be cheap. The quarterback might not have posted great numbers in 2019, but both 2017 and 2018 were fantastic years.

He’s probably going to still command a pretty penny, and won’t take a “hometown discount” from a team he’s never played on. Maybe he’ll take a discount because he wants to win a Super Bowl, but that’s the only way he’s coming even close to cheap.

The Patriots are a great team, but have a few holes to fill. They can’t go spending all their money on a 38-year-old quarterback coming off what was arguably his worst season as a professional.