This year marked the first of Philip Rivers’ 17 seasons in the NFL spent with a team other than the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers moved on from Rivers after the 2019 campaign and the veteran gunslinger then signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts. Rivers led Indianapolis to a playoff berth but the Colts lost 27-24 to the Buffalo Bills on Wild Card Weekend.
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Online sportsbook Sportsbook has released odds on whether Philip Rivers will call it a career in the offseason, with No the favorite at -220 and Yes coming back at +155.
Will Philip Rivers Retire?
Odds as of January 14 at Sportsbook
Why Philip Rivers Will Retire
Although Philip Rivers had a solid season in 2020, throwing for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, I don’t think the Colts will bring him back as a starter. So the question becomes whether he would accept a backup position. There are three scenarios that could play out here, so let’s examine them.
The first scenario is that Jacob Eason, drafted out of Washington in the fourth round of last year’s NFL draft, will become the starting quarterback. Eason was third on the depth chart this season behind Rivers and Jacoby Brissett. Now that he has spent a season learning from the elder statesman, he might be ready to take the next step and assume the starting role.
If Eason is anointed the guy in Indianapolis, would Rivers be willing to take a backup role to help mentor him like Ryan Fitzpatrick did with Tua Tagovailoa in Miami, while being ready to come in if the young QB struggles?
Another scenario could see the Colts trade for Carson Wentz or another quarterback on the market, which would leave Rivers on the outside looking in.
Will Another Team Grab Rivers?
The final scenario sees Rivers signing with another team, which to me seems unlikely. Rivers signed with the Colts for one year and $25 million. Even on a short deal, that is a ton of money for a team to invest in a quarterback who would turn 40 by the end of the year and has lost a lot of the zip on his throws.
There are arguably three teams that will be looking for a new quarterback and one of them is going to draft Trevor Lawrence first overall. That means New England and Washington are really the only teams that will be in need of a new signal-caller. Would either of those teams take a flyer on Rivers at this point in his career? Probably not but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
I think Rivers will have to see how the whole offseason plays out and whether other quarterbacks are moved before he makes a decision. If he does retire, he will have played 17 seasons without winning a Super Bowl. However, his 63,440 yards is fifth most all-time behind Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, and that in itself is worthy of Hall of Fame status.