Colts Don't Expect Philip Rivers to Walk Away After 2020
Jason B. Hirschhorn
INDIANAPOLIS -- After parting ways with the Los Angeles Chargers early in the offseason, Philip Rivers quickly found a new home with the Indianapolis Colts. The pairing made plenty of sense on paper as the team possessed a stellar supporting cast as well as a coaching staff featuring two former Chargers assistants with which Rivers already had a relationship.
Because of that relationship, Rivers seems reasonably likely to stay in Indianapolis beyond 2020, the only season covered by the contract he signed with the Colts. Head coach Frank Reich understands that plans can change from their original intentions, but he sees Rivers having a longer runway with his new team.
"It was a normal contract negotiation," Reich explained. "There was push and pull on each side and multiyear deal and this deal and trying to get numbers and everything to balance out right. It finally just came down to what it was, but I think the spirit of it was we're in this together. And as long as Philip wants to play, he wants to be here."
Rivers, who turns 39 later this year, comes off a difficult season in which he tossed 20 interceptions and committed 23 turnovers in total. Those issues contributed to the Chargers' decision to move in a different direction and suggest that the veteran signal-caller might not have much time left as a viable starter.
Still, Rivers will return to an offensive system and play-caller with which he has worked under in the past and will do so behind perhaps the best offensive line of his career. Though Rivers refused to blame his pass protection for interceptions and poor decisions last season, it became apparent that his discomfort playing behind a constantly shifting unit affected his performance. Though injuries could affect the Colts' offensive line, the group has enough talent to keep Rivers upright and functioning at a high level.
If the Colts can provide Rivers with the support he lacked in 2019, Reich believes the veteran quarterback will continue to play beyond the upcoming season.
"It's the NFL," Reich said. "He's got to prove it. We've got to prove it as a team to keep him wanting to play. I can just tell you from the previous relationship I really believe it's Philip's intent to play multiple years. I personally believe he is more than capable of multiple years."
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH