- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2021

After 17 seasons, Philip Rivers is done in the NFL.

The Indianapolis Colts quarterback announced Wednesday that he’s retiring from football. Rivers, 39, was set to be a free agent this offseason, but will now coach high school football in Alabama. 

Rivers’ announcement marks the end of a decorated career in which the quarterback finishes fifth all-time in passing yards (63,440) and touchdowns (421). He spent 16 of his 17 years with the Chargers, with 13 of those seasons in San Diego and the last three in Los Angeles. Even when the Chargers moved to Los Angeles, Rivers famously commuted from San Diego. 

Rivers was part of the legendary 2004 quarterback draft class that included Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. On draft night, Rivers and Manning were traded for each other as Manning, the longtime quarterback of the New York Giants, refused to play in San Diego. 

Rivers never won a Super Bowl, but was one of the best signal-callers throughout his time in the league. In 2020, he was still productive — throwing for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions. He led the Colts to the playoffs, losing to the Buffalo Bills in the wild card round. 

In a statement, Rivers thanked his family, fans, teammates and coaches.

“I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season,” Rivers said. “Thank you to all my coaches that helped me grow as a player and person. Thanks to the support staff. I appreciate the opposing defenses making it challenging physically and mentally every week. … I also enjoyed the banter. I appreciate the referees for putting up with all my fussing. I think I was right most of the time dadgummit!”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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