Following Andrew Luck's retirement prior to the 2019 season and backup-turned-starter Jacoby Brissett leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 7-9 record, there was an expectation that the franchise would seek out another option at quarterback. This was proven to be true as the Colts agreed to contract terms with former Los Angeles Chargers starter Philip Rivers. Now the one-year, $25 million deal has been confirmed.
The Colts announced the move with a simple tweet on Saturday that said: "Welcome to Indy, Phil!" It had previously been reported that he would be joining the team shortly after the new league year began on March 18. However, the inability of players to travel due to COVID-19 concerns made it difficult to conduct the physical exams required for contract agreements. This meant that Rivers and the Colts could not technically announce the deal for multiple days.
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"Philip is one of the most decorated quarterbacks in the NFL and we are fortunate to add an experienced player of his caliber to our organization," general manager Chris Ballard said in a statement. "His familiarity with our coaching staff and offensive system in addition to his experience were attractive qualities during our evaluation process. Philip is a fierce competitor and his veteran leadership will be crucial in the continued development of our young roster."
Rivers is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career at 38 years of age. He only threw 23 touchdown passes, his lowest total since 2007. He also threw 20 interceptions, matching the second-highest total of his career. The Chargers ultimately finished in fourth place in the AFC West with a 5-11 record.
The Colts have faith that Rivers will find more success behind a stout offensive line while pairing with wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and the skill position players on offense. He will be expected to lead Indy back to the playoffs after a one-year absence.
Interestingly enough, there was another veteran QB reportedly interested in heading to Indianapolis ahead of the 2020 campaign. Peter King revealed in his "Football Morning in America" column that former New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was interested in potentially joining the Colts. The franchise did not feel the same way and opted to bring Rivers to town on a shorter contract. Brady instead landed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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