Lately, there has been a trade rumor floating around about the Tennessee Titans exchanging the 2nd overall pick in the draft with the San Diego Chargers, in exchange for quarterback Philip Rivers. The Chargers would then take the 2nd pick and select Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, while Tennessee would move forward with Rivers at the helm.
Quarterbacks in the NFL often are not traded for one another, especially if one of them hasn’t even played a down in the league, but in this proposed deal, both teams and both players would really stand to benefit. For Tennessee, they would be getting a proven QB that has consistently been one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Rivers also has past experience working with Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt, and he could come into Nashville and be the face of the franchise that is in desperate need of one. For San Diego, they have had Rivers since 2004 and while they have gotten to one AFC title game (back in 2007) Rivers has never gotten them to the top of the NFL. With Mariota, they are taking a gamble, but it is a calculated gamble. In the Chargers offense, Mariota would fit in perfectly with running backs Danny Woodhead and Brandon Oliver, and could run a system similar to the one he ran in college.
For the players, this deal also makes a ton of sense. In Rivers case, he is a southern boy at heart. Born in Alabama, attending college at NC State, a change of scenery back to his home region could stand to benefit him. He has gone through three coaches in San Diego, and deserves to go to a new place to see if maybe a new team is all he needs to get to the top. For Mariota, he grew up in Hawaii and attended Oregon. He is a west coast guy at heart, and would fit like a glove in San Diego. There’s also talk of the Chargers moving north to Los Angeles, which is something Rivers does not want to do, but something that could really benefit Mariota.
There’s a reason trading quarterbacks doesn’t happen frequently in the NFL, since it is risky for both teams. In this instance though, both teams need to recognize that the potential rewards of this proposed Rivers-Mariota swap outweighs the risks, and they should pull the trigger on this deal.