Philip Rivers' NFL playing career is done. After 16 years as the Chargers quarterback and one as the Colts QB, he's calling it quits, telling San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Kevin Acee, "It's just time. It's just right."
Rivers also told Acee he was still planning on being the new head football coach at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Ala., next season. The job was already his, pending retirement. With that settled, Rivers is, "excited to go coach high school football."
That's all well and good, but it won't stop broadcasters from reaching out to his agent to inquire about a broadcasting role. And it certainly won't stop Rivers from listening to the lucrative offers they're sure to make. If the NFL is a copycat league, NFL broadcasting follows suit. Tony Romo has ensured the next generation of retired quarterbacks will get their shot in the studio or booth and, with the exception of Drew Brees, no aging NFL QB has drawn more interest than Rivers.
With his southern drawl, down-home attitude, deep religious roots and Pro-Bowl playing credentials, Rivers makes for the perfect broadcasting candidate. Based on his insistence that coaching will be part of his future, and with the knowledge that spending time with his nine children is likewise a top priority, the most likely broadcast role he would consider taking is being a pregame in-studio analyst on Sunday mornings. That way he can be home all week, coach the team on Fridays and Saturdays and then fly in for a studio appearance on Sunday morning.
A spot on NFL Today on CBS makes a lot of sense as a landing spot for Rivers. They have long played second fiddle to FOX's pregame show and hiring Rivers would, at minimum, create a buzz and generate more viewership. Rivers could play the good ol' boy role similar to Terry Bradshaw on FOX. Rivers and Nate Burleson would certainly make a strong duo.
Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN could also be a potential fit. The show currently features Tedy Bruschi, Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss and Rex Ryan. Rivers could join that crew and team with Moss to create a Charles Barkley-Shaq dimension that makes Inside the NBA so special. Who wouldn't want to watch Moss and Rivers talk smack to each other before games?
NBC and FOX seem less likely. The former because they film at night and just hired Brees, the latter because they have a pretty special thing going already and likely won't want to rock that boat too much.
Rivers had an illustrious playing career that will likely land him in the Hall-of-Fame some day. He could wind up focusing fully on coaching and family and religion in his retirement years. But broadcasting companies will pay top-dollar for a personality like his. Now that he's officially done playing, they will come calling. The only question is will Rivers sign on the dotted line?