Posted on July 7, 2017, by Travis Pulver
Former NFL great Deion Sanders is an interesting guy. He was one of the most exciting players on the field back in his day. As an analyst, he is entertaining and verbose but good at his job? Eh—that’s debatable. But he presented an idea in a video on Facebook recently that is actually pretty good.
It’s just a shame it will never happen.
What was his idea? Phillip Rivers needs to go to Denver if he wants to win a Super Bowl.
“Give me Philip Rivers, send him to the Denver Broncos, and get ready to get your ring sized. Okay?” Sanders said in a video on the NFL’s Facebook page. “If he’s ever going to win it all, he’s going to have to leave, baby.”
In theory, he is probably right. Denver still has a stellar defense, but even the best defense wears down when the offense can’t stay on the field. Trevor Siemian wasn’t bad last year, but he wasn’t good either. Rumor has it that Paxton Lynch has made some great strides during offseason workouts. However, progress means nothing if it doesn’t happen when the pads are on.
With the passing game no longer good enough to take pressure off the run game, Denver doesn’t have an effective running game anymore. But if they had a gunslinger like Phillip Rivers running the offense, it would be a completely different story.
John Elway has proven in the past (i.e. Peyton Manning) that he is willing to do what it takes to win now. Yes, he could wait for either Siemian or Lynch to develop into the quarterback the team needs. But if that takes too long they are bound to lose key players on both sides of the ball. Guys will get tired of waiting and jump ship to better teams or leave simply for the money.
So—what would it take to make it happen?
Assuming the Los Angeles Chargers would be open to a trade that would help a division rival win a Super Bowl, they would need multiple players in exchange for the 35-year old Rivers. They would probably insist that Lynch is a part of the package but would need more. They could ask for one of Denver’s defensive stars, but the Broncos are not going to give any of them up.
But with the glut of wide receivers the Broncos currently have on the roster, Denver may be willing to part with two or three. If San Diego really pushes for him, it would not be shocking to see the Broncos throw in Demaryius Thomas. But Denver would be more apt to part with Emmanuel Sanders, Cody Latimer, and maybe one of the rookies Denver drafted (Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie).
San Diego will want a young quarterback they can hopefully groom to be the future of the team. But since the Broncos will be coveting the service Rivers can provide, they can certainly get a lot more than Lynch. If they don’t want any of Denver’s receivers, Elway would probably be up for sending over a collection of draft picks.
However, while the move would be a brilliant one for the Broncos and not an entirely bad one for the Chargers, it will never happen.
NFL teams don’t trade nearly as much as NBA teams do. They especially don’t like to trade within their own division. No one wants to face a good player that used to be on your roster twice a season. Just the idea of helping a rival out is enough to kill any potential deal for some front offices.
Rivers would do it if it happened and would play to the best of his abilities. But he would not want to move to Denver. When the possibility of the Chargers moving from San Diego to Los Angeles came up, he balked at the notion. He had no desire to uproot his family.
Denver may not be interested because if they didn’t win a Super Bowl with him, it would mean they traded away the future of the franchise for nothing.
So—good idea Mr. Sanders. But it will never happen.