For the first time in his career, Philip Rivers will be suiting up with someone other than the Los Angeles Chargers this fall.
Rivers reached a one-year, $25 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts earlier this week, and made the contract official on Saturday after he and the Chargers parted ways earlier this year.
While the 38-year-old admitted that he contemplated retiring after his impressive 16-year run in the league — he doesn’t want to overstay his welcome — Rivers still believes he has plenty left to offer.
“I think really where we settled in is I still love to play, certainly not coming off my best year, but I know I still can play at a high level,” Rivers said Saturday, via ESPN. “It was one of those deals where we said if there’s nothing else out there then that’ll be our answer. I don’t want to just try to hang on to play.
“The fact it ended up being with this organization, it made it that much more exciting to keep going.”
A message from the man himself: pic.twitter.com/2clX1UcAAL
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) March 21, 2020
Bouncing back in Indy
Rivers certainly has a stellar resume, even if he struggled last season in Los Angeles. The eight-time Pro Bowler ranks sixth all-time in passing yards and passing touchdowns, racking up more than 59,000 yards and nearly 400 touchdowns in his career. He had an impressive 244-game streak without missing a contest, dating back to 2006.
Last season, though, was a bit rough. His quarterback rating dropped from 105.5 to 88.5 while leading the Chargers to a 5-11 finish. He threw 20 interceptions, the third-most in the league last season behind Baker Mayfield and Jameis Winston.
Yet after Indianapolis’ quarterback struggles last season — backup Jacoby Brissett was thrust into the starting lineup after Andrew Luck suddenly retired in August, a move that stunned the NFL world — Rivers will undoubtedly be a welcome addition.
“Philip is one of the most decorated quarterbacks in the NFL and we are fortunate to add an experienced player of his caliber to our organization,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said in a statement. “His familiarity with our coaching staff and offensive system in addition to his experience were attractive qualities during our evaluation process.
“Philip is a fierce competitor and his veteran leadership will be crucial in the continued development of our young roster.”
Rivers has plenty of connections with the Colts, too.
Head coach Frank Reich served as Rivers’ quarterback coach and offensive coordinator for three seasons with the Chargers, and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni worked with Rivers for five seasons in San Diego.
“We communicate the same way,” Rivers said, via ESPN. “I know what those guys are trying to get out of a play and why they are calling this. They understand how I think and why I look for things. There’s a good dynamic there in the way we think. I do think there’s a trust factor that was built there in our time in San Diego. I think that’s important to have that trust.”
How long will Philip Rivers keep playing?
Rivers’ time in the NFL is limited.
He’ll be 39 by the time the upcoming season concludes, by far among the oldest quarterbacks still in the league. Only new Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will be older.
While Brady has said he wants to play until he’s 45, Rivers doesn’t quite have that same mindset. He isn’t, however, going to put a cap on his game.
“I take it one year at a time,” Rivers said, via ESPN. “If I feel good, I’ll keep going. I don’t want to get carried away. You won’t see me in the Tom Brady range. I still feel like I can help a football team go win a championship.”
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