Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers announced his retirement Wednesday, marking the end of a 17-year career.
Rivers spent his first 16 seasons with the Chargers before playing for Indianapolis this past season. He ranks fifth in career passing yards (63,440) and fifth in career touchdown passes (421). Rivers trails Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre in both categories.
“Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day,” Rivers said in his statement. “It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC Championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League.”
Earlier this week, offshore sportsbook BetOnline had listed Rivers at -220 to return for another season. They had also priced Indianapolis at -700 to re-sign Rivers if he had decided to return.
Rivers was signed to a one-year, $25 million contract in March 2020 after spending 16 seasons with the Chargers. He turns 40 in November.
Now, Indianapolis will be tasked with finding a new starting quarterback. Backup Jacoby Brissett started 15 games for the Colts in 2019, completing 60.9 percent of his passes for 2,942 yards.
He had an 18-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio before finding himself in the backup role for the 2020 season. BetOnline lists Brissett as the +300 ‘chalk’ to be the starter in Week 1 of the 2021 season. However, Brissett is scheduled to become a free agent.
Another option could be Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz. He had success under current Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich, who was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia until the franchise won the Super Bowl.
Wentz is priced at +400 to be the Colts starter in Week 1. Matthew Stafford (+500) and Andy Dalton (+600) could be possibilities as well. The only quarterback currently on a contract with the Colts is Jacob Eason (+700), who just completed his rookie season.
Eason was a fourth-round draft pick who did not see the field this year. The Colts have the 21st pick in the draft, so a rookie quarterback (12/1) could be an option.
Another choice would be trading for Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is listed at 16/1 to be the starter for the Colts in the season opener. Watson is a +400 ‘chalk’ to land in Miami, but the Jets are not far behind at +450.
Carolina (+700), Atlanta (+800) and New Orleans (+800) could be trade destinations for Watson as well.