Longtime Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers retiring from the NFL

Philip Rivers
Posted at 6:09 AM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 21:01:28-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Philip Rivers is retiring from the NFL after 17 seasons.

There was no formal press conference, just a statement where he thanked the Chargers and Colts organizations, as well as the fans that cheered him, and even booed him.

According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the longtime San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers quarterback said of ending his NFL career: “It’s just time.”

Rivers confirmed his decision to ESPN, issuing the following statement:

The 39-year-old Rivers spent the 2020 season with the Indianapolis Colts after playing the previous 16 seasons with the franchise that traded for him on draft day in 2004.

Anytime you saw Rivers before or after a game, there was a good chance former San Diego Chargers Assistant Director of Media Relations Scott Yoffe was in the area. Yoffe, who spent 21 years with the Chargers, says he wasn't surprised Rivers decided to hang them up after spending the 2020 season in Indianapolis.

"I was glad to see him come back and finish it out on his terms, and have a chance to play in a city where the fan base embraced him and appreciated what he brought," Yoffe said.

Rivers put up big numbers during his prolific career, but even bigger than the stats, was his passion on the field.

"You know how much fun he had playing football," says Yoffe. "And how much fun he made it for San Diegans. You know those Sunday's and Monday's at Qualcomm just used to rock."

But while Rivers never reached the pinnacle, the Super Bowl, he definitely put up Hall of Fame numbers. He went to 8 Pro-Bowls, he threw for over 63,000 yards, and he threw 421 touchdown passes, both of which rank fifth all-time in NFL history.

Rivers took his teams to the playoffs seven times, reaching the AFC Championship Game in 2007 -- and essentially playing that game on one healthy leg. In 2020, he led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth, but his team came up short against the Buffalo Bills.

Rivers is expected to become a high school football coach in his native Alabama.

"I think it would be a bummer if he didn't get in you know. I think there is a criteria that says you have to win a Super Bowl, but you also have to have a lot of pieces fall into place to win one of those. He checked off all the boxes, so I think if he doesn't find himself in Canton one day, it would be an utter disappointment," said Yoffe.