Rich Eisen shared the top five rumors he heard last week at the NFL Combine Monday, and the fifth one was as off the wall as you’d imagine. Eisen said he heard former quarterback Philip Rivers reach out to two teams toward the end of the 2022 regular season:
“We all know there were two teams that were quarterback needy toward the end of the season starting third-stringers and had a chance to go to the playoffs and make a deep run in the playoffs, referring to the Miami Dolphins, and of course, the San Francisco 49ers.
I heard at the Combine that Philip Rivers contacted both of them to come back late last year. Rivers contacted both of them. That’s what I heard and that’s the way I heard it. It didn’t happen. Don’t know why it didn’t happen. But I heard that, at the Combine, that Philip, once his season was over, was kinda like, ‘so the 49ers are going with Mr. Irrelevant?’”
Rivers was an excellent quarterback, but hadn’t played since 2020. Expecting a 41-year-old quarterback who hadn’t played for a couple of seasons to hit the ground running without rust requires quite the leap of faith.
From everything that’s came out about Brock Purdy since the end of the season and how Kyle Shanahan has been infatuated with Purdy, it’s easy to see why he rolled with the rookie that impressed back in training camp.
If you’re Rivers, it makes sense why you’d call a desperate, playoff-bound quarterback-needy team. This falls under the “shooters shoot” category. I’m certain that Shanahan considered the idea of signing Rivers given his experience before ultimately making the correct decision to roll with Purdy.
In an alternate universe, how different might the 49ers season had turned out with Rivers under center?