INDIANAPOLIS — Philip Rivers spent more than a decade picking apart the Indianapolis Colts and irritating their fans.

On Wednesday, he’ll become their new quarterback.

The longtime Chargers star agreed to a one-year contract with Indy on Tuesday, according to a person who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be officially announced until Wednesday.

General Manager Chris Ballard has now filled two major offseason needs in two days – adding an eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback to the roster less than 24 hours after acquiring Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner in a trade with San Francisco.

What the Colts are getting with the 38-year-old Rivers is a 16-year veteran, coming off a season in which he had his fewest touchdown passes, 23, since 2007 and his most interceptions, 20, since 2016. It was one reason the Chargers decided not to bring back the franchise’s career passing leader.

In Indy, Rivers will be reunited with Coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. Reich was the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach in 2013 and the offensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015. Sirianni spent five seasons in San Diego, two as quarterbacks coach.

The move also completes a strange cycle.

The New York Giants selected Rivers with the fourth overall draft pick in the 2004 draft then made a draft-day swap with the Chargers for Eli Manning, whose older brother, Peyton, was still starring in Indy. Twice during Rivers tenure, he played on teams that eliminated the Colts from the playoffs.

Now, presumably, Rivers will replace Jacoby Brissett as the Colts’ starter.

Brissett started 15 of 16 games last season after replacing the retired Andrew Luck in August. The Colts went 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five years.

But from the moment of Luck’s sudden departure through last month’s NFL annual scouting combine, Ballard continued insisting the Colts were all-in with Brissett.

It now appears Brissett will be the odd man out in Indy and could even be on the move. He was acquired in a deal with New England just before the 2017 season.

PANTHERS: The Panthers are parting ways with Cam Newton.

Carolina GM Marty Hurney said via Twitter the team is giving the 31-year-old quarterback permission to seek a trade – although the former league MVP responded by saying he never requested one.

“Every year difficult decisions are made and they are never easy,” Hurney said. “We have been working with Cam and his agent to find the best fit for him moving forward and he will always be a Carolina Panther in our hearts.”

Newton was quick to respond to the Panthers on social media, saying he didn’t ask for the trade.

“Stop the word play!!” Newton tweeted. “I never asked for it!! There is no dodging this one; I love the Panthers to death and will always love you guys!! Please do not try and play me or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this: You forced me into this.”

Newton has battled shoulder and foot injuries the last two seasons and lost his last eight starts for the Panthers.

• A person familiar with the negotiations says the Panthers and free-agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater have agreed to a three-year, $63 million contract to replace Newton.

The 27-year-old Bridgewater started five games last season for the Saints, going 5-0. He has spent the last two seasons in New Orleans after four with the Vikings.

Bridgewater previously worked one season in New Orleans with Joe Brady, who is now Carolina’s offensive coordinator, and has some familiarity with the offensive scheme.

SAINTS:  The Saints and record-setting quarterback Drew Brees have agreed on a two-year, $50 million contract, a person familiar with the situation said.

Brees has said repeatedly that he is taking career decision one year at a time. His new contract gives the 41-year-old, 19-year veteran the leverage to decide after this season whether he wants to continue playing.

Brees missed five games with a throwing hand injury that required surgery but was still productive last season while leading New Orleans to a third straight playoff appearance.

IN OTHER MOVES: 

• Stefon Diggs is headed to the Buffalo Bills in a splashy trade intended to boost quarterback Josh Allen’s development.

Buffalo is set to acquire the big-play receiver and a seventh-round draft pick from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for four draft picks, a person with direct knowledge of the move confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday night.

The Bills agreed to give up their first-round selection this year (22nd overall) and three other picks to land a fifth-year player who has topped 1,000 yards receiving in each of the past two seasons, the person said.

The Vikings will also get Buffalo’s fifth- and sixth-round draft picks this year, and a fourth-round choice in next year’s draft.

• Philadelphia won’t be keeping star safety Malcolm Jenkins, who led the Eagles’ defense when it won the 2017 league title. Jenkins spent the last six of his 11 NFL seasons in Philly.

• Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips has agreed to sign with the Cardinals. The 6-foot-6, 341-pound Phillips just finished a breakout season for the Bills with a career-high 9 1/2 sacks. Phillips was claimed off waivers by Buffalo after he was released by the Dolphins shortly after getting into a sideline argument with an assistant coach. He fills a major need for Arizona’s defense, which gave up the most total yards in the NFL last season.

• The Jaguars have agreed to terms with free agent linebacker Joe Schobert, who spent the past four years in Cleveland, where he led the team in tackles twice and made a Pro Bowl. The deal is for $53.75 million over five years, and includes $22.5 million guaranteed.

• The Ravens fortified their defensive front with Michael Brockers, who agreed to terms on a three-year contract after spending his first eight pro seasons with the Rams. Brockers, 29, had a career-high 63 tackles in 2019, along with three sacks.

Baltimore already added veteran edge rusher Calais Campbell, obtained Sunday in a pending trade with Jacksonville.

• Chicago agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal with defensive end Robert Quinn, who gets $30 million guaranteed. The Bears added a solid pass rusher to outside linebacker Khalil Mack. Quinn had 11 1/2 sacks last year following a trade to Dallas from Miami. He served a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers.

The Bears also released outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, chosen ninth in the 2016 draft. Floyd contributed against the run and in pass coverage, but did not develop as a pass rusher. He had 18 1/2 sacks in four seasons, including a career-low three last year.

• Miami and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah agreed to a $15 million, two-year contract. Ogbah had 5 sacks last year for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. He also spent three years with the Cleveland Browns and has 18 sacks in four seasons.

• The Giants reached contract agreements with Packers linebackers Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell and Panthers cornerback James Bradberry. The Giants also agreed on a deal with veteran blocking tight end tight end Levine Toilolo.

New York had one of the NFL’s worst defenses last season.

• Buffalo grabbed Carolina defensive end Mario Addison and New Orleans linebacker A.J. Klein. The 32-year-old Addison has had nine or more sacks in each of his past four seasons. The 28-year-old Klein is projected to take for Lorenzo Alexander, who has retired.

• Tampa Bay will be re-signing linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul to a two-year, $27 million contract. Pierre-Paul has 21 sacks since being acquired from the Giants two years ago. He had 8 in 10 games last season after recovering from a neck injury suffered in an offseason automobile accident. The two-time Pro Bowl selection has 79 sacks in 10 NFL seasons.

• The New York Jets continued to address their offensive line by agreeing to terms with guard Alex Lewis on a three-year contract.

Lewis was acquired by New York from Baltimore last August and started 12 out of 15 games after taking over at left guard for the injured Kelechi Osemele.

• Bryan Bulaga agreed to a contract with the Chargers. He spent the past 10 seasons with Green Bay and will turn 31 on Saturday. He is likely to start at right tackle and will be reunited with James Campen, who was Bulaga’s line coach at Green Bay and was recently hired by Los Angeles.

• Linebacker Thomas Davis said he’s reuniting with former coach Ron Rivera and signing with  Washington. Davis, 36, played under Rivera with Carolina for eight seasons and had the best years of his career.

• Jason Witten is headed to Las Vegas, where Jon Gruden is the coach. Coincidentally, Witten replaced Gruden as the analyst on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” in 2018, then went back to play again with the Cowboys.

Witten turns 38 in May. He had 63 catches for 529 yards and four TDs last season, and has 1,215 catches for 12,977 yards and 72 TDs in 16 seasons with Dallas.

• The Tennessee Titans added edge rusher Vic Beasley Jr. on a one-year deal. The No. 8 overall pick in the 2015 draft led the NFL with 15 1/2 sacks in 2016 for the Falcons. Atlanta declined to re-sign Beasley after he got only 18 sacks combined over the past three seasons.

• The Rams declined their contract option on cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, who has been the team’s nickel cornerback and their top defender on slot receivers since 2017. Robey-Coleman was the defender who admittedly got away with pass interference against New Orleans receiver Tommylee Lewis in the NFC championship game in January 2019, leading to a change in NFL rules.


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