Colts QB Philip Rivers Retires From NFL

The Colts planned to give Philip Rivers at least a month to mull his NFL future. It turns out, he only needed about a week to make his decision. The star quarterback will retire from the game after 17 seasons. 

It’s just time,” Rivers told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s just right…What has helped me come to this (decision) is the growing desire to coach high school football. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s been growing. I can’t wait.”

Rivers spent the majority of his career with the Chargers before hooking on with the Colts in 2020. In his lone Indy season, he led the team to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth. Even at his advanced age, Rivers managed to top 4,000 passing yards for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns against eleven interceptions. After completing 68% of his regular season throws, Rivers & Co. came up short against the Bills in the Wild Card round.

Rivers will coach high school football in Alabama this year, even though he had multiple TV opportunities. He also had plenty of opportunities still waiting for him in the NFL. The Colts seemed interested in an 18th season from No. 17, and they weren’t alone. Still, at the age of 39, Rivers is ready to move on to the next chapter.

I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season,” Rivers said in a statement. “Thank you to all my coaches that helped me grow as a player and person. Thanks to the support staff. I appreciate the opposing defenses making it challenging physically and mentally every week. … I also enjoyed the banter. I appreciate the referees for putting up with all my fussing. I think I was right most of the time dadgummit!

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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34 comments on “Colts QB Philip Rivers Retires From NFL

    • crosseyedlemon

      He rarely got the media attention that Brady, Brees, Big Ben and Rodgers saw but he never complained. Don’t often see top QBs with that type of humility or class.

      • Tatsumaki

        Brees hardly gets attention either lol, it’s literally just about brady, rodgers and now mahomes and Watson. Brees never won an mvp despite leading in most offensive categories over his great career.

    • afsooner02

      He’s a HOF and at the end of the day, other than SB titles, that will show he wasn’t.

      • lettersandnumbersonly

        Wonder if the Giants would have won two Super Bowls had they not traded for Eli?

        Who knows? They might have won more or less?

  1. mikey

    I hope he makes the hall of fame. I mean he’s probably borderline, but he’s definitely deserving, and by far one of my favorite players to watch.

      • itstimefordodgersbaseball

        Are you kidding me!? Look at Phillip Rivers stats and tell me he isn’t in the HOF. That’s crazy.

        • bencole

          How many current QBs are HOFs? If that number is more than about 6, the other guys shouldn’t be in the HOF

        • DarkSide830

          the only reason he may miss is that in an era if great QBs, he may not be in the top x # of them. he stacks up all time though.

      • Bryzzo4417!

        Easy HOFer. Top 5 in Yards and Touchdowns. No way he doesn’t get in.

        • qbert1996

          Was Rivers ever the best qb in the game though or even top 5 for extended period of time? Thats the argument against him. Every qb in the NFL has the passing stats now because the game swayed toward throwing the ball 600 times a year.

  2. phillyballers

    Good pro, better procreator. Entire offseason will now be Wentz to Indy until the season starts.

  3. leefieux

    Hopefully, Ben follows him out the door. Time to move on. He’s not worth the $41+ million he counts vs the cap.

    • Ak185

      He was literally the entire offense this year. Hard to judge how much he really has when the team completely and entirely relied on Ben to read a defense and rocket out a pass in under 2.3 seconds and hope that the defense isn’t positioned against it. Not to mention relying on wideouts who can’t get separation to not drop passes again because the line can’t pass protect long enough to keep the QB upright after years of elite play and a running game that gets stuffed every snap.

      I’m not saying that Ben has much left, but I am saying that he was throwing way too much year this and was the only thing the Steelers could rely on on offense. He was definitely not the problem this year.

  4. pappyvw

    He was one of a kind – always entertaining, and one of the few players who, I think, didn’t pretend to be anyone but himself publicly, which I appreciate and believe is in short supply. He will be missed.

  5. Black Ace57

    Best of luck for Rivers going from his team life of 52 other players to his home life of 52 kids!

  6. progina

    Him and Tony Romo had very similar careers but most people believe rivers should be in the hof but not Romo

    • Ak185

      I love Romo as a player, and truly believe that he could have won a few Superbowls with another team. However, Rivers is slightly above Romo career wise, given his position on the all-time statistical lists. I’d give him a slight edge, but they are quite similar. I don’t know if Rivers gets into the HoF, and while I would not object, I would not boycott the NFL if he did not.

      Romo does have the unique advantage of being an undrafted quarterback who became the unquestioned franchise starter for many years, and a great one at that. One unfortunate part of that is that the team he went to may have the longest list of franchise greats at that position. People often base their evaluations of a quarterback in part on the guys their franchise has had in the past. Romo may not be the best QB in franchise history for Dallas, so his reputation suffers slightly. And there are quite a few QBs to consider for the list in Dallas: Meredith, Staubach, White, Aikman, and Romo were all players who could have been great in any other franchise.

      Rivers in comparison just has one competitor in Dan Fouts, and he’s more even in comparison because neither won a Super Bowl despite incredible and long-lived careers. So Rivers may be the best QB in Charger history while Romo is likely three (or four for some who dislike Romo in favor of White) for the Cowboys. It’s not a fair thing to do but people do do it. Like I said, I think that play-wise they both could have been best in the league at any time during their respective primes, as they had that ability level as individual players. Their teams just weren’t good enough to win the big one.

    • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

      Please post your NFL stats. I’m sure we’re all interested.

    • GoChargers

      For an imaginary quarterback he sure put up better stats than most of those “real” quarterbacks.

  7. Loren Polonsky

    The Rivers-Gates pass combination was indeed special. I can’t think of many better QB-TE pairs except for Brady-Gronk.

  8. jopeness

    I remember all the talking heads speaking about his throwing motion and how it will be very difficult to transition to the NFL a la larger linemen. Unlike Cutler, Rivers’ talking junk was backed up with solid QB play. He knows it’s time to retire since he now has as many years in the NFL as children at home. dude has like 9 rugrats running around, granted lots of money but damn they must have their hands full

  9. Harry Scout

    He’s a first ballot HOF and it isn’t debatable. 5th all time in passing yards. 5th all time in passing TDs. He is NOT in the top 20 in INTs all time which is a list that features Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Dan Marino, iJoe Namath, John Elway, Dan Fouts, many other Hall of Famers and if course Brett Favre. He’s top 10, top 20 in every statistical category when it comes to passing and as far as “inflating stats” go, he is NOT in the top 20 when it comes to passing attempts per game. 5-7 in the playoffs, only 1 conference championship. Certainly that is a knock. But I see people here comparing him to Romo and that is just slanderous. Put Rivers on a well tun organization that doesn’t fire a 14-2 Head Coach because they can’t get along, doesn’t go through 5 head coaches, a relocation, no spending in Free Agency…put him on a well run organization like the Patriots, Steelers, Packers, give him a coach that wasn’t Mike McCoy or Anthony Lynn, hell, give him two healthy ACLs in the AFC Championship….things could be different. But still I don’t think any of his post season lack of success will define him as a football player and leader, nor should it hinder his HoF case. He will always be a legend in San Diego. Love that he let Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune break the story.

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