Indianapolis Colts quarterback and one of the best passers of this generation, Philip Rivers, announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday morning.
“Every year, Jan. 20 is a special and emotional day. It is the 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,” Rivers wrote in a statement. “Thank you, God, for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL.”
Rivers spent 16 of his 17 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers before playing out 2020 with the Indianapolis Colts.
Coming out of NC State in the 2004 NFL Draft, Rivers was selected by the New York Giants, but was sent to the Chargers for Eli Manning, who was chosen first-overall that year.
He completed 64.9% of his passes for 63,440 yards, 421 touchdowns, and 209 interceptions. He is fifth on the all-time list in both passing yards and touchdowns.
Rivers made eight Pro Bowls, made the playoffs seven times — including this year with the Colts — and passed for over 4,000 yards in 12 of his last 13 professional seasons.
“I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons and the Colts for the 17th season,” he continued. “Thank you to all my coaches that helped me grow as a player and person.”
All the while, he became one of the more colorful characters in the league behind a fiery attitude, a tenacious will to compete, and a strict no-cursing policy.
“Thanks to the support staff. I appreciate the opposing defenses making it challenging physically and mentally every week… I also enjoyed the banter,” Rivers said. “I appreciate the referees for putting up with all my fussing. I think I was right most of the time dadgummit!”
Despite his Hall-of-Fame-worthy stats, what could very well hold him back from putting him on the pedestal as one of the very best quarterbacks of the 2000s was an inability to win the big one. Rivers never won a championship, unlike the other top quarterbacks of his era ranging from both Manning brothers to Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees.
For now, though, Rivers is headed back to his home state of Alabama to take over as head coach of the St. Michael Catholic High School football team in Fairhope.
“Special thanks to my teammates. Without a doubt, my favorite part of the game, being a teammate. Thank you for being mine,” Rivers said. “Lastly, thank you to my wife and best friend Tiffany, and our children Halle, Caroline, Grace, Gunner, Sarah, Peter, Rebecca, Clare, and Anna. Could not have done it without y’all’s unwavering support.”