It is exhausting to think about an NFL season with out Philip Rivers. Ever since he entered the league in 2004, the previous N.C. State star has racked up passing yards at a prolific fee along with his unorthodox throwing movement and entertained soccer followers along with his GIF-worthy antics.

However the veteran quarterback can see the tip of the highway coming. Previous to signing a one-year take care of the Colts in March of 2020, Rivers admitted he thought of retirement following a tough 2019 season with the Chargers wherein he threw 20 interceptions.

“I feel actually the place we settled in is I nonetheless like to play, actually not coming off my finest 12 months (in 2019), however I do know I nonetheless can play at a excessive stage,” Rivers stated after agreeing to the contract with Indianapolis. “It was a type of offers the place we stated if there’s nothing else on the market then (retirement will) be our reply. I do not wish to simply attempt to grasp on to play.”

After the Colts’ 2021 NFL playoff run ends, will Rivers select to hold on for at the very least another season? Or will Indianapolis have to begin a brand new quarterback search quickly?

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Will Philip Rivers retire after 2021 NFL playoffs?

Rivers is not ignoring the potential for enjoying his remaining NFL sport this 12 months. However, as of proper now, he is leaning towards returning for his 18th season.

“If I got here in right here and stunk it up, I used to be gonna be achieved anyway. It might be like, ‘Man, that is brutal, let me simply go coach,'” Rivers stated previous to the Colts’ Week 17 sport (through The Athletic). “But when it went nicely, and we acquired within the playoffs and made a run, let’s do it once more. I nonetheless really feel that means. I do not wish to communicate in absolutes as a result of there may be nonetheless mud to be settled, each time this season ends, and I am going to speak about it with my household, and the Colts have their facet, however I nonetheless really feel the identical means.

“I hope there’s a 12 months 2 (right here). I feel I am actually gonna wish to play once more.”

The 39-year-old actually did not stink it up in his first season with Indianapolis after the underwhelming 2019 marketing campaign. In 16 begins, Rivers threw for 4,169 yards, 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, main the Colts to an 11-5 file and a playoff berth.

“From a soccer standpoint, having some success, as a crew and individually, enjoying nicely sufficient to punch it in and rating some factors and win some video games, it has been fulfilling,” Rivers stated.

Whereas he has beforehand stated he would not imagine he’ll find yourself enjoying into the “Tom Brady vary,” Rivers clearly believes he is nonetheless ok to be a high quality quarterback. NFL Community’s Ian Rapoport reported in early January that Rivers has no plans to affix one other crew this offseason, so it is a Colts-or-retirement scenario. For what it is value, Indianapolis gamers and coaches have provided nothing however rave critiques.

“If he desires it, he is acquired a number of years of excellent soccer left in him,” Colts coach Frank Reich stated of Rivers.

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Colts’ quarterback choices if Philip Rivers retires

Within the occasion Rivers and the Colts do not attain a brand new deal, Indianapolis could must look past its present roster to seek out its subsequent beginning quarterback.

Heading into the 2021 season, third-stringer Jacob Eason is the one quarterback underneath contract, as Rivers and Jacoby Brissett are set to turn out to be free brokers. Eason, chosen within the fourth spherical of the 2020 NFL Draft out of Washington, has a robust arm however no professional expertise.

The Colts — who, barring a commerce up, can decide no greater than 19th total — may use this 12 months’s first-round decide to land quarterbacks resembling North Dakota State’s Trey Lance or Alabama’s Mac Jones. However, once more: no expertise. Indianapolis must settle for it is taking a step again within the hopes of creating a future star in that situation.

If the Colts choose to stay in win-now mode, there are some intriguing outdoors choices. A Carson Wentz commerce may make an excessive amount of sense, not solely as a result of the Eagles quarterback seems to be sad with being benched, but in addition as a result of Reich beforehand served as Wentz’s offensive coordinator in Philly. Indianapolis may pop up in commerce rumors for Sam Darnold and Matthew Stafford as nicely.

That is assuming Rivers will not be round, although, and there have not been any indications to date that Rivers and the Colts wish to finish their relationship after one season collectively.