Football world reacts to retirement of Philip Rivers

January 20

Reaction from around the football world on the retirement of NFL quarterback Philip Rivers after a 17-year career.

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“Without question, Philip Rivers is one of the greatest, and no doubt one of the toughest players to ever play this game. For 16 years wearing Chargers blue, Philip gave the Colts fits, but he was a wonder to watch because of his skill at the quarterback position as well as his undeniable love for the game. Even though he wore the horseshoe for only one season, it was a season to remember, and we were fortunate to have his leadership and passion in our building for this part of our climb. We wish Philip the best in his retirement, and we will join fans in San Diego and Los Angeles in saluting him as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday soon.” — Colts owner Jim Irsay

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“One of the best I've ever been around at that position. I'd put him in the same category as all those elite quarterbacks. Extremely smart. I'm sure there’s a lot of defensive coordinators right now around the league breathing a sigh of relief with all respect to what Phil has been able to do, and just the quality of person he is off the field, even when you go against him. I had a chance to be around him at the Pro Bowl several years ago, and what a competitive guy, but also a high-character man and a guy with a great core." — Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott

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“I’ll never forget lining up for a play and Phil pointing to one of our linebackers and telling him he was lined up wrong based off the blitz we were about to run and being 100% correct about it haha. One of the smartest I’ve ever played against and a hell of a competitor." — Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt

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“Absolutely loved every single thing about Philip Rivers and his game. The leadership and toughness were at the absolute highest. Best QB I ever saw throwing with defenders right in his face. Love that dude-HOFer!!!!!" — Former NFL quarterback and ESPN college football analyst Dan Orlovsky

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“Always opinionated, never boring, with a love of football he’ll carry with him as a coach. Congrats on a great career Philip Rivers!" — NFL Films' Twitter account

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“Philip is one of the fiercest competitors and most loyal teammates that our game has ever seen. His unwavering conviction as a leader and elite intelligence contributed to his Hall of Fame football career. Philip made our game better and the National Football League was fortunate to have him. ... I am anxious to see Philip trade his helmet for the headset and do what he’s always done best — bring his passion to the game of football and make others better.” — Colts coach Frank Reich

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“Congratulations on a great career to my brother Phil, you’ll go down as one of the best. I’ll be at your HOF speech." — Former Chargers teammate Shawne Merriman

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“Phil was one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around. He made everybody around him better. When he was in the huddle, we always believed we would win. I’m proud to have been his teammate and even prouder to be his friend.” — Former North Carolina State center Jed Paulsen

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“Congrats to Philip on an outstanding career. It was fun to watch my fellow Qb from 2004 draft class compete these past 17 years. Enjoy the next phase." — Two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning, whom the New York Giants acquired in a draft-day deal for Rivers

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“Philip Rivers made lasting impressions with every teammate and coach he competed with over the course of his 17 NFL seasons. I can’t overstate the importance of Philip’s leadership for us both on and off the field this past season. In one of the more unique years this league has seen, Philip’s veteran presence guided our team and played a major role in helping us reach the postseason. I’m not only appreciative of Philip’s contribution to the Colts in 2020, but the impact he made in the NFL and in the game of football during his career." — Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard

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