It was not a secret. But now it is official. Philip Rivers will not play his 17th NFL season with the Chargers.
Rivers will enter free agency and the Bolts will look for a new QB for the first time since Philip took over as the starter in Week 1 of the 2006 season.
“After stepping back a bit from last season, we reconnected with Philip and his representatives to look at how 2019 played out, assess our future goals, evaluate the current state of the roster and see if there was a path forward that made sense for both parties,” said General Manager Tom Telesco in a statement. “As we talked through various scenarios, it became apparent that it would be best for Philip and the Chargers to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run."
Telesco has long been a fan of Rivers and thinks the 38-year-old is going to be an impact player in another uniform.
“I’ve said before that Philip can still compete at a top-starter level and, in a perfect world, number 17 is your quarterback forever," said Telesco. "Obviously, we live in an imperfect world where the only constant is change. I think Philip’s tremendous perspective, both when it comes to football and when it comes to life, helped lend clarity to a very complex situation.”
Rivers, who recently moved his family out of San Diego to the east coast, also had kind words for the only organization he's ever played for.
“In anything you do, it’s the people you do it with that make it special," said Rivers in a statement. "There are so many relationships and memories with coaches, support staff and teammates that will last forever, and for that I am so thankful. I never took for granted the opportunity to lead this team out on to the field for 235 games. We had a lot of great moments, beginning in San Diego and then finishing in LA. I wish my teammates and coaches nothing but the best moving forward."
On March 16 NFL teams can start negotiating with free agents. Rivers has said he believes he can still play at a high level and intends to continue his career. He joins a long list of free agent quarterbacks.
Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and Ryan Tannehill could all be available unless their current teams re-sign or franchise tag them.
Rivers could end up in any number of places. Wherever that is, that organization is getting a heck of a QB and one of the best people the NFL has ever had.
“I’m not sure what the future holds, but my family and I look forward to seeing what God has planned for us next. Nunc Coepi.“