He'll ‘Go Down as One of the Best': NFL World Reacts to Rivers' Retirement

[NBC Sports] Here's why Chargers won't fear going on road to play Patriots, Tom Brady
NBC Sports - Boston

NFL coaches, players and others are lauding quarterback Philip Rivers, who is retiring after 17 seasons in the league.

Rivers finishes his career with 252 consecutive starts including the playoffs. He ranks fifth all-time in completions, yards passing and touchdown passes. Though he never played in a Super Bowl, Rivers kept his starting streak intact by playing with a torn ACL in his right knee in the AFC championship game following the 2007 season. Rivers and the San Diego Chargers lost that game to the undefeated New England Patriots. Rivers spent his first 16 seasons with the Chargers and his final one with the Indianapolis Colts.

Here’s reaction from around the football world on his retirement:

Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott
“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."

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt
“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."

Former NFL quarterback and ESPN college football analyst Dan Orlovsky

Former Chargers teammate Shawne Merriman

Former North Carolina State center Jed Paulsen
“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.” —

Two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning
Whom the New York Giants acquired in a draft-day deal for Rivers.
“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."

Contact Us