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How Chargers' Decision on Rivers Can Impact Bears

Would the Bears be in the market for Philip Rivers, or is there another way this announcement has an impact on the Bears?

The announcement by Los Angeles Chargers about parting ways with quarterback Philip Rivers came as no surprise and probably does not affect the Bears.

It's the impact of the announcement which could have a bigger impact on Bears offseason plans.

Chargers GM Tom Telesco made a statement about the decision at the team's website.

"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," Telesco said. "We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020."

The move means the Chargers would have enough money to fix the franchise tag to tight end Hunter Henry.

The Bears are in the market for a tight end, although it's uncertain whether they would be able to come up with the money under their salary cap required to land Henry. As a tight end who is still on his first contract and made 191 catches during three seasons he played, Henry could have had the Bears trying to find a way to get him to Chicago.

The problem with Henry is he has missed 23 of 64 possible games with injuries. He had a concussion, a knee sprain, a lacerated kidney and then in 2018 suffered a torn ACL during organized team activities and missed the full 2018 season.

Teams can begin placing franchise or transition tags on players Feb. 25 and have 15 days to do it.

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Any Bears interest in Rivers would seem remote at best. He's not coming to any team to be a backup and Mitchell Trubisky has been designated starter for the Bears this season by GM Ryan Pace.

Matt Nagy was asked what his thoughts were on Rivers' quarterbacking abilities prior to the Chargers' win over the Bears at Soldier Field.

"What you come to appreciate—and I coached him in the Pro Bowl a few years ago, so I was with him, he was one of our quarterbacks," Nagy said. "What you see constantly is he's one of the best anticipatory passers in the NFL. He throws the ball super early.

"I'll never forget, there was a play, I forget what year it was, but he threw a little out-and-up route to Antonio Gates that (was) a throw I'm not sure I've ever seen. You just sit there and watch it five times and see how early he threw it, and it was another 20 yards down field when the ball was released. He's able to understand defenses, what you bring him at him defensively with blitzes, dropping guys. He's seen it all. It's experience. It's somebody that I have a lot of "respect for."

The Colts would be the best landing place for Rivers because of his  past ties to coach Frank Reich as Chargers quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

Rivers has been around since 2004 but hasn't run the Kansas City style RPO offense Nagy uses, either. His current contract is expiring and pays him $20.8 million a year. 

Where that takes bidders is uncertain.

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