Philip Rivers weighed up retirement before joining Indianapolis Colts
"I think it's just important to focus on this season and focus on right now. How can I get better and help the Colts today?"
Last Updated: 23/03/20 11:38am
Philip Rivers admits retirement came into the conversation as he weighed up his options prior to signing for the Indianapolis Colts in free agency.
The eight-time Pro Bowl selection joined the Colts on a one-year deal worth $25m after moving on from the Los Angeles Chargers after 16 seasons.
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Despite coming off the back of a disappointing 2019, the 38-year-old joins the Colts with the belief he is still capable of contributing at a high level.
"There really wasn't necessarily a plan like, 'Hopefully we can do one year, hopefully we can do two'. It was just kind of, 'Hey, whatever works out best for both sides', and it happened to work out this way," Rivers said in a conference call with reporters.
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"And, again, like I said, we're a ways away. We know how this league is, things change in a hurry, but certainly hope that it's longer than that.
"But I think it's just important to focus on this season and focus on right now. How can I get better and help the Colts today? And doing that throughout the rest of this offseason and throughout this season."
Rivers is sixth all-time in career passing yards (59,271) and touchdowns (397), with the Colts putting their faith in his experience as they pursue a championship.
The veteran has previous ties with head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni having worked with the pair in San Diego between 2013-2015.
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"I'm sure there are certainly some things that have changed - I look forward to learning those and getting a feel for those - but for the most part it is going to be almost the same system that we've run since I've been in since '13," Rivers added.
"In a lot of ways you find out over a long career that a lot of us all run the same thing. You call it a little differently.
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"I know what those guys are trying to get out of a play and why they are calling this. They understand what I think and how I look for things. There is a good dynamic there from the way we communicate.
"I think that that is a positive and I do think there was a trust factor that was built in our time here in San Diego."
"I look forward to meeting my teammates and earning that trust in the locker room."— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) March 22, 2020
Rivers was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, and shipped to the Chargers for No. 1 overall pick Eli Manning, who said he wouldn't play in San Diego.
The Chargers opted not to re-sign him after his play declined last season, Rivers finishing with 4,615 passing yards for 23 touchdowns - a drop from his 32 in 2018. He meanwhile threw 20 interceptions on the back of 12 the previous season.
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Colts general manager Chris Ballard said in a statement: "Philip is one of the most decorated quarterbacks in the NFL and we are fortunate to add an experienced player of his calibre to our organisation.
"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."
His arrival raises questions over the future of Jacoby Brissett, who took over as starter last season following Andrew Luck's shock retirement during pre-season.
Saturday also saw the Colts release veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer, who has since returned for a third stint with the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots.
Hoyer started his career with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent from Michigan State, then had stops with the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers before returning to the Patriots in 2017.