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Does Philip Rivers make sense for the Bucs? – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Blog

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Thursday that the Bucs have not gotten any closer to clarity on their quarterback situation and whether Jameis Winston will return in 2020 because they’re waiting to see what’s behind Door No. 2 when it comes to available free agents.

“No, because you don’t know who’s available. You’re just sitting and waiting to see is there someone available? And is he a better option?” said Arians, referring to the possibility that some players could be re-signed on tagged before they hit the open market. “I don’t think there’s that many guys involved. … I’d be shocked if it’s two.”

One quarterback who will be on the open market is Philip Rivers, whom the Los Angeles Chargers agreed to part ways with this week after 16 years. While Arians did not speak about any quarterback specifically, league sources have told ESPN that Rivers, who just relocated his family to Florida, has piqued the Bucs’ interest. Would he make sense for Tampa Bay?

At 38, he said he wants to keep playing.

“I do feel I have some emotional fire and passion still left,” Rivers told the Los Angeles Times. “I know I have the passion for the game that I think is going to last my lifetime. And I think I have the ability left to go play at a high level.

“Some people might disagree that I can still play. But I would say I definitely can do it. I cleaned up a few of those other things, and if I’m playing consistently, I can still do it physically.”

Here are a few factors for the Bucs to consider when looking at whether Rivers is a fit.

The turnovers

Rivers is coming off statistically one of the worst seasons of his NFL career, producing career lows in Total QBR (48.6) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (1.15). He threw 23 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions, tied for second most in his career and just one off from his career-high of 21 and third most in the league behind Winston (30) and Baker Mayfield (21). Since Winston came into the league in 2015, he has the most interceptions with 88 — but Rivers is second with 76.

If the Bucs’ primary concern is indeed eliminating the turnovers, this would be an issue — although two years ago, Rivers managed to throw just 12 picks with 32 touchdowns, leading the Chargers to a 12-4 record. He threw just 10 picks the year before.

High-volume throwing

It should be noted that Rivers had 591 passing attempts last season, the second most of his career. While Arians’ preference is to maintain a balanced offensive attack, the Bucs didn’t have that last season. Some of that was a function of playing from behind, but it was also the result of not running the ball very well due to a combination of poor blocking at times, missing holes and having negative run plays. The result was Winston having a league-high 626 passing attempts. If Rivers struggled with 591, the Bucs’ high-volume passing might not be an ideal fit.

Many would argue that Rivers needs a balanced attack that the Bucs simply didn’t have last season. Check out the numbers for when he did and didn’t have LaDainian Tomlinson in the backfield.

Deep passes

Arians’ “No Risk It, No Biscuit” philosophy also involves taking chances downfield. Rivers attempted 76 passes of at least 20 or more yards downfield, his highest total in the past five years and 23 more than he had in 2018, according to ESPN Statistics & Information research. His efficiency numbers on those deep passes were not very good and showed noticeable drop-off from the 2018 season.

The age issue

While Rivers is 38 and not a long-term solution, it would afford Arians the option of not starting over with a brand-new quarterback. He’s under contract for four more seasons, but many close to him, including inside the Buccaneers’ facility, believe he could retire after three years, giving the Bucs a smaller window under Arians.

Arians not only has developed young quarterbacks but also has worked with veterans, trading for 33-year-old Carson Palmer in 2013. He was enamored with Palmer’s deep-ball ability and his level of experience. In Rivers’ case, the deep ball might not be there, but his durability is remarkable. He has been sacked 160 times since 2015 — nearly as many as Winston’s 169 sacks — but has started all 16 games every season of his career after he took over for Drew Brees in 2006.

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Stephen A. Smith explains why Philip Rivers should retire after parting ways with the Chargers.

Winston also has been durable, playing this past season with a broken thumb and ankle injury, and fighting through a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder before having to miss three games in 2017.

Does he have the ‘it’ factor?

While Rivers ranks ninth in NFL history with 123 regular-season wins and he has produced 32 game-winning drives, he’s most often remembered for the games he didn’t win. Rivers has lost 63 one-score games, the most in the Super Bowl era, according to ESPN Stats & Info research. But his best days might be behind him after the Chargers finished 5-11 in 2019, although injuries, particularly along the offensive line, certainly played a role in that result.

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Ex-Broncos DE Derek Wolfe, Ravens agree to 1-year deal, source says

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‪Former Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe has reached agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $6 million with the Baltimore Ravens, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The addition of Wolfe comes one day after the Ravens were unable to finalize a deal with Michael Brockers. There was an issue with Brockers’ injured ankle, and the sides couldn’t agree on a revised deal, a source said.

Baltimore has made it a priority to reshape its defensive front. The Ravens acquired defensive end Calais Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars, traded defensive end Chris Wormley to the Pittsburgh Steelers and watched defensive tackle Michael Pierce sign with the Minnesota Vikings in free agency.

Wolfe should help improve the pass rush for the Ravens. Baltimore’s defensive linemen totaled four sacks in 2019, the fewest by any team.

Wolfe finished his eighth season with the Broncos in 2019 and was one of the longest-tenured players on the team’s defense; only cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and linebacker Von Miller have played on the defense longer.

Coach Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme turned out to be perfect for Wolfe as he had one of his best all-around years in 2019 with 34 tackles and a career-best seven sacks. Wolfe has 33 sacks in his career.

Wolfe’s high-motor play has been a key part of the defensive front, and Miller credits Wolfe for many of his sacks “because of what Wolfe does next to me. He’s a beast.”

That intensity has come at a physical price at times, as Wolfe has battled through some injuries throughout his career, including neck surgery. He has played 16 games three times and went to injured reserve this past season after 12 games with a dislocated left elbow.

Wolfe, who turned 30 in February, was a second-round pick by the Broncos in 2012 — the team had traded out of the first round that year — and he immediately started 16 games as a rookie for a team that won the AFC West. He has started every game he played in for the Broncos — 108 in all — and while he hoped to re-sign with the Broncos at season’s end, he added “it’s a business.”

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley and Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.

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Bobby Hebert Sr., father of former Saint and Falcon Bobby Hebert Jr., dies from COVID-19

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Bobby Hebert Sr. — the father of former New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Bobby Hebert — died Saturday at the age of 81 after testing positive for coronavirus.

Hebert Jr., a Southern Louisiana native, still works as an analyst for WWL Radio in New Orleans. He and his wife, Jojo, said in a statement that “our hearts are broken” and that Hebert Sr. was “the reason I made it” to the NFL.

Hebert Jr.’s son T-Bob, who played center at LSU, described his grandfather on Twitter as “the wisest, kindest, and most tactful person I have ever known.”

Hebert Jr. broke down crying in a recent appearance on WWL while describing his father’s battle with the virus. He described his father as a “fighter” who survived colon cancer, multiple strokes and a birth defect that required open heart surgery.

But, Hebert Jr. said, “You can be tough and the virus can still overwhelm you,” before insisting that people heed the advice of health officials because “it’s an unseen enemy.”

Hebert Jr. also wrote in his statement about the “magic twinkle” in his father’s eye and his lifelong passion for the LSU Tigers.

“I’m kinda numb and shocked,” Hebert Jr. said in the WWL interview. “You get numb and then sometimes you don’t want to accept reality and what you’re dealing with.”



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Chiefs re-signing WR DeMarcus Robinson for one year, source says

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The Kansas City Chiefs are re-signing wide receiver DeMarcus Robinson to a one-year contract, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Robinson’s production increased each season after cracking the Chiefs’ receiving rotation, going from 21 catches and 212 yards in 2017 to 32 and 449 in 2019. He started 23 games over three seasons, mostly when the Chiefs opened in three- or four-receiver formations.

Robinson, who turns 26 in September, was a fourth-round draft pick in 2016 and played mostly on special teams as a rookie.

His big game with the Chiefs came in Week 2 of last season. With Tyreek Hill out with an injury, Robinson made the most of the opportunity with six catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Raiders.

NFL Network first reported that Robinson was returning to the Chiefs.

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