Philip Rivers was able to find a starting quarterback job in the NFL, signing a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts. Where Rivers fit into the quarterback carousel this free agent season was anyone's guess, with so many signal callers on the market and a limited amount of teams looking for a franchise signal caller.
Fortunately for Rivers, he was reported to have a connection with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before "Tom Brady to Tampa" became a reality). But what if Indianapolis decided to enter the Brady sweepstakes and Tampa Bay decided on another option for its next quarterback? Where would Rivers end up after the dust settled?(and was
Rivers had a plan, which might have been his only option.
"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," Rivers said in a conference call last week after the Colts announced his deal, via NFL.com. "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."
Typically when no teams want a player in the NFL, that player is forced to "retire." Being a 16-year veteran, Rivers had the luxury of making a retirement "announcement," even if he didn't get the offer he was hoping for in free agency. Sure, Rivers could have spent his final few NFL seasons as a backup quarterback mentoring young players, but he wanted the opportunity to redeem himself as a starter with another team.
Having a good season with the Colts could convince Rivers to retire on his own terms. Rivers will certainly have the resources on his coaching staff to succeed in Indianapolis. He will be reunited with Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni, who spent five seasons as an offensive assistant with the Los Angeles Chargers, who Rivers played for from 2004 to 2019. Colts head coach Frank Reich was the offensive coordinator for two seasons with the Chargers, spending three total years with Rivers in San Diego.
Reich was the Chargers' quarterbacks coach in 2013, when Rivers led the NFL by completing 69.5% of his passes, the highest completion percentage of his career. Along with throwing for 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns that season, Rivers also took care of the football, throwing just 11 interceptions while earning Pro Bowl honors.
"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," Rivers said. "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."