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Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers retiring after 17 NFL seasons

Related: Exploring every potential quarterback option for the 2021 Patriots

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

After 17 seasons in the NFL, former San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers is calling it a career.

“It’s just time. It’s just right,” Rivers told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday.

Rivers first entered the NFL as the fourth overall draft pick by the New York Giants in 2004, but was almost immediately traded to the Chargers as part of a trade also involved first overall selection Eli Manning. The trade worked out well for both teams, even though Rivers — unlike Manning — failed to lead his team to a Super Bowl win.

Still, the Chargers developed into a contender behind the quarterback. After Rivers took over as the starting quarterback in 2006, the team made the playoffs in six of 14 seasons — including the first four of his career — while finishing below .500 just four times. Rivers also helped the Colts reach the playoffs in his lone season with the club in 2020.

All in all, he appeared in 244 regular games over the course of his career — the final 240 of them without interruption; the second longest streak by an NFL quarterback behind Brett Favre’s record of 297 — as well as 12 playoff contests. Three of those postseason games saw him go up against the New England Patriots, with the Rivers and the Chargers losing all three of those contests (2006, 2007, 2018).

What’s next for Rivers now that his active career is over? Coaching high school football.

“What has helped me come to this is the growing desire to coach high school football,” he told the Union-Tribune. “That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s been growing. I can’t wait.”