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Philip Rivers trade rumors are heating up

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Could the San Diego Chargers trade their franchise quarterback to the Tennessee Titans for the #2 pick, then use it to draft Oregon QB Marcus Mariota?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Where there's smoke there's fire. And where there's tons of smoke, there's a big fire.

This fire is big because it's a blaze that would alter the landscape of two divisions in the AFC, the entire 2015 draft, and even impact the likelihood of a team finally landing in Los Angeles.

This inferno is the rumor that the San Diego Chargers would trade QB Philip Rivers to the Tennessee Titans for the 2nd overall pick in the draft, then use that pick on Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.

And after smoldering for weeks, this fire's suddenly gotten scorching hot.

Why this makes sense

Philip Rivers is entering the final year of his contract. He's willing to play out this final year rather than negotiate a long-term deal. Why? The situation in Los Angles seems to be a big part of it.

Rivers reportedly doesn't want to move to L.A. - he'd rather retire, according to one report - and the Chargers are perpetually rumored to be heading  to the Bay Area. That's a pain point for the franchise's QB; at the same time, no president/owner wants to be at the mercy of his employee. Trading Rivers would allow the Chargers to move to L.A. and, by drafting Mariota, still have a football plan in place.

Meanwhile, the Chargers seem to like Mariota. They're wining and dining him and working him out Tuesday and Wednesday. We all know Chargers head coach (and former Broncos offensive coordinator) Mike McCoy likes the no-huddle, and the Oregon alum certainly fits that bill.

The trade makes enough sense that both The San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee and Bolts from the Blue's John Gennaro penned pieces saying the Chargers should trade Rivers now.

Like I said, 'fire'.

Why this doesn't make sense

From the Chargers' perspective, it's a risky move. You're giving up a franchise quarterback capable at playing at a Pro Bowl level for an unproven draft prospect.

From the Titans' perspective, it's a shortsighted move. Rivers is 33 years old. He has three to five good years left in him.  Is that enough time to compete for a Super Bowl? Is that worth giving up a potential star for the next 10 years? Hard to say. Music City Miracles doesn't think so.

Likelihood to happen

50%. Flip a coin. I think this is believable enough to work, but a move this big needs someone to drive it. Right now it's not clear either team is driving it. I expect the Chargers may do just that following these meetings.

Still, if you had asked me last week the odds of the Chargers trading Rivers, I might have said '10%' offhand. That's a lot of heat in a short time period as we approach the draft.