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    Philip Rivers makes sense for Colts, Panthers

    By Matt Verderame
    Philip Rivers, Chargers

    On Monday, the Los Angeles Chargers and long-time quarterback Philip Rivers parted ways.

    Rivers, 38, is a 16-year veteran. He’s an eight-time Pro Bowler. He once played an AFC Championship Game on a torn ACL. He loves bolo ties. Rivers is a figure worth remembering, albeit one still looking for his first title.

    It’s important to note, though, that Rivers told Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times he wants to keep playing even if he ends up ringless.

    “I can say for certain that if I’m playing, it’s a two-year maximum,” Rivers said. “Whoever the suitors are, I think that would be their hope as well. Because you never know how it goes. Shoot, if we stink it up after one year, I’m probably done. If we play really good, they’ll probably want to go again.

    “Certainly you want a chance to win a championship, but it’s not just about that. If you told me right now, ‘You’re going to play for two years, and you’re going to be good. But y’all will not win a Super Bowl. Will you still play?’ Heck yeah, I’ll still play.

    “So it’s not like it’s a Super Bowl or nothing. But if it’s a team where it’s going to be tough sledding and they’re two years away from even having a chance, and they led the league in most sacks given up or something, then it’s, ‘I don’t think so, guys.’”

    So where to next? The Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers both make sense.

    Indianapolis has Jacoby Brissett in the final year of his deal, while the Panthers could be releasing Cam Newton for a $19.2 million savings. The decision on Newton is largely centered on his health, an issue which kept the 2015 MVP sidelined for 14 games last season.

    Despite Indy and Carolina missing the playoffs in 2019, both are strong candidates to bounce back. The Colts were 5-2 with wins over the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs before falling apart due to injuries. Carolina was also a contender in the season’s first half before injuries and poor quarterback play submarined the team.

    Finally, both teams have ties to Rivers. Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich was Rivers’ quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in San Diego from 2013-15. As for the Panthers, they share the same state as Rivers’ alma mater, North Carolina State.

    With free agency six weeks away, there’s time to figure out the next steps for both the teams and Rivers. It’ll be fascinating to see how everything unfolds.