Have the Los Angeles Chargers moved to the top of the queue in the pursuit of Tom Brady after confirming their mutual separation with long-time quarterback Philip Rivers? They have been among the teams monitoring Brady's situation and this gives them the best opportunity to snag the 6-time Super Bowl champion.
The Los Angeles confirmed their separation from Rivers on Monday after a 16-year association with the quarterback following his arrival as a fourth overall pick at the 2004 NFL Draft. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco confirmed that it was a mutual separation and the decision to confirm the split early was so that both parties had enough time to decide the next step.
"After stepping back a bit from last season, we reconnected with Philip and his representatives to look at how 2019 played out, assess our future goals, evaluate the current state of the roster and see if there was a path forward that made sense for both parties," Los Angeles general manager Tom Telesco said via the team's website Monday.
"As we talked through various scenarios, it became apparent that it would be best for Philip and the Chargers to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run," the Chargers GM added. "We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020."
Brady to the Chargers?
The Chargers are certain to be constantly linked to Brady in the coming week with the New England Patriots quarterback expected to enter free agency in March. It will be the first time Brady will be entering free agency without being tagged and many believe there is a possibility that he does not re-sign with the Patriots in order to seek out a new challenge.
Brady's former teammate Damien Woody, who won two Super Bowls with the quarterback, believes the future Hall of Famer will be in another uniform come the 2020-21 season. Apart from the Chargers, the Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas for new campaign are among teams that are pursuing Brady.
"That whole little nugget of not being able to get tagged in his last contract. I think Tom in 20 years with New England, first time getting to experience free agency, feeling the love and going through the process, a lot of people don't understand there's more than just Tom, Bill (Belichick) and Mr. (Robert) Kraft in this process," Woody said, as quoted on Clutch Points. "You have family, you have TB12 that's gonna factor into all of this, and I think when it's all said and done, I think Tom will be in another uniform."
Rivers to Tampa Bay?
Meanwhile, Rivers has also made it clear that he wants to continue playing after leaving the Chargers and speculation is rife that he could replace Jameis Winston at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers having just relocated his family to Florida. He also thanked the Chargers franchise and the Spanos family for the opportunity and is certain that relationships built over the last 16 years will last forever.
"I am very grateful to the Spanos family and the Chargers organisation for the last 16 years," Rivers told the team site. "In anything you do, it's the people you do it with that make it special. There are so many relationships and memories with coaches, support staff and teammates that will last forever, and for that I am so thankful."