As the offseason soldiers on, more lists have filled the void of football news. That includes a ranking of quarterbacks by former NFL quarterback and NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms. Simms has compiled and ordered the 40 best players at the position from his point of view.
While the Los Angeles Chargers don't have a quarterback inside Simms' top 30, a few of their former signal-callers did, including their starter for the past 14 seasons: Philip Rivers.
For the vast majority of his career, Rivers has performed at a high level, earning eight Pro Bowl nods and helping lift the Chargers to one of their most productive periods in franchise history. In his best seasons such as 2018, he even garnered serious MVP consideration late into the season. His prolific career -- he should finish with more than 60,000 passing yards and 400 touchdowns -- could even net him a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at some point in the future.
However, Rivers' 2019 campaign did not unfold as expected, leading some to believe the 38-year-old quarterback might have reached the end of the line. Rivers tossed 20 interceptions last year and committed 23 total turnovers. During a particularly poor stretch late in the season, Rivers' turnovers nearly cost him his starting job. Those issues contributed to the Chargers' eventual decision not to re-sign him this offseason.
Still, Rivers has a chance to change the narrative around him with his new team, the Indianapolis Colts. Reunited with coaches Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni, the veteran quarterback steps into a situation where he already knows the bones of the offensive system and will have one of the league's premier offensive lines to protect him. Those advantages, along with a solid set of skill-position talent, could help Rivers turn back the clock on his career and perhaps make a run at a title. Reich has already stated that the team believes Rivers could remain in Indianapolis past the 2020 season.
Simms' ranking as a mid-tier starter reflects both Rivers' most recent work and the upside of his new situation in Indy. If Rivers can't cut down on his mistakes, the Colts will pursue a new starter next year. If he instead thrives in a familiar system with a strong supporting cast, Rivers could realistically rank higher on such lists next offseason.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH