After 252 Consecutive starts along with the fifth most passing yards and passing TD’s in NFL history, the former fourth overall pick is hanging up his cleats
The 2004 NFL Draft had a first round full of NFL-ready quarterbacks, including Mississippi State’s Eli Manning, Miami of Ohio’s Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers from North Carolina State. Many analysts were expecting Manning to be selected first by the Chargers, but leading up to draft day, it was leaked that Manning had no intention to ever suit up for the then San Diego Chargers. After being selected first, Manning was stunned and immediately expected a trade, which would soon happen after the New York Giants took Rivers with the fourth pick and traded him to San Diego for Manning. Other than J.P. Losman, who is currently an offensive analyst at Clemson, all of the first round QB’s from 2004 have enjoyed successful NFL careers.
Rivers spent 14 seasons as the Chargers’ starting quarterback after being Drew Brees’ backup for two years. During those 14 years, Rivers passed for 59,123 yards to go with 396 touchdown passes and 197 interceptions. Impressively, in his 15 years of being a starting quarterback, Rivers never missed a game including notoriously playing through a Grade 3 ACL tear in 2008.
Following a disappointing end to the 2019 season for the Chargers, both the team and Rivers mutually decided to move on from one another which therefore made Rivers a free agent for the first time in his career. On March 21, 2020, Rivers signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts for around $25 million. Even at 38-years-old, there was still a strong belief around the league that Rivers still had some gas left in the tank and that Rivers would be the perfect bridge to a new quarterback after the season.
Pushing 40 years old, Rivers had a solid season in Indy, posting 4,169 passing yards with a 24/11 TD to INT ratio that was fairly consistent with his career numbers. A little over a week after the Colts lost to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round, Rivers has announced his retirement, handing the keys to whoever the Colts sign this offseason due to both of their QB’s (Rivers and Jacoby Brissett) contracts expiring.
Now at 39, Rivers will hang up the cleats and ride off into the sunset, putting behind him a Hall of Fame worthy statistical career. It is unclear whether or not Rivers will be enshrined after his first run on the ballot due to his career-long playoff struggles, but his rankings among the NFL’s best QB’s of all-time will hopefully lead Rivers to Canton in the near future.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has already announced that Rivers has a new job waiting for him, as he will become the Head Coach for St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama.