The 2004 NFL Draft class was one of the most special group of incoming propsects, as it held the likes of Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Philip Rivers. The three combined for 707 starts and 50 years of NFL service.
On Wednesday, it was reported that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers has decided to retire from the NFL after 17 seasons. The 2020 season was his first with the Colts, while the previous 16 years were spent with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers.
Despite a 5-7 career playoff record, Rivers was a fan favorite among the league. He finished his playing career with 63,440 passing yards, 421 touchdowns, and 209 interceptions. His 240 starts ranks 18th in NFL history.
With New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees heading towards retirement, and the news of Rivers’ decision, the NFL is likely heading towards a potential trend of iconic figures making their exit from the league.
The list will likely continue following into next year, with Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (37), Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger (38), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady (43) in the final stages of their respective careers. Even outside the quarterback position, Hall of Fame talents such as Larry Fitzgerald, Jason Witten, and Frank Gore are not expected to play for much longer.