NFL News: Philip Rivers Announces Retirement After 17-Year Career With Chargers & Colts

After a productive NFL career that saw him spend 16 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers and one year with the Indianapolis Colts, Philip Rivers has announced his retirement from professional football.

“Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day,” Rivers said in a statement released Wednesday, as quoted by ESPN.

“It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League. Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL.”

According to ESPN, Rivers retired with the fifth-most passing yards in league history, with his 63,440 yards only ranking him behind Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Brett Favre. He also was named to eight Pro Bowls and is currently ranked fifth in touchdown passes, though he notably retired without ever having played in a Super Bowl.

Although he was originally selected by the New York Giants as the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Rivers was sent to the Chargers in a draft-day transaction that sent that year’s No. 1 selection, Eli Manning, to the Giants. Originally a backup in San Diego, Rivers became a starter in his third season when Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent. He then led the Chargers to six playoff appearances during his time as a first-string quarterback, and across his entire career, he played and started in 252 consecutive games after getting promoted to a starting role.

Following his stint with the Chargers, Rivers signed a one-year, $25 million contract with the Colts in the 2020 offseason. He went on to have another productive season, passing for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns as Indianapolis finished the regular season with an 11-5 record. However, he fell just short of leading the Colts past the wild-card round as they were eliminated by the Buffalo Bills in a 27-24 loss earlier this month.

As reported by The Inquisitr, Rivers seemed to hint at retirement late in December, suggesting that if Indianapolis failed to qualify for the playoffs, he might choose to call it a career. While Colts head coach Frank Reich recently stated that the 39-year-old still had “a lot of good football” despite his advanced age, the veteran signal-caller first confirmed his plans to retire to the San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday night.

Speaking to the above publication, Rivers noted that he is “excited” to start coaching at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama, which hired him as its head coach in May.

“What has helped me come to this (decision) is the growing desire to coach high school football,” he told the outlet. “That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s been growing. I can’t wait.”

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