Chargers owner Dean Spanos called Philip Rivers “the consummate professional” … “the ultimate gamer” and one of “the dadgum best quarterbacks” ever.
Spanos also labeled Rivers “the heart and soul of the Chargers organization for so many years” in a statement released by the team.
Rivers and the Chargers parted ways a year ago following a 5-11 season in which the veteran quarterback struggled with turnovers. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in nearly every significant career passing category.
“That man helped me jump-start my career,” said running back Austin Ekeler, who made the Chargers as an undrafted rookie in 2017. “I owe a lot of my success to Philip. He’s definitely always going to be a legend in my book, definitely always thank him for what he did for me.”
Rivers played his final three Chargers seasons in Los Angeles after the franchise relocated from San Diego. The Chargers finished 26-22 during that stretch and made the playoffs in 2018.
Rivers started every game for the team from the 2006 opener until his final Chargers appearance to end the 2019 season. He made 224 consecutive starts in the regular season and 235 overall as a Charger.
“He had an amazing career,” Ekeler said. “Seventeen years, [No.] 17 on his back, too. I wonder if that was any motivation to play that one last year. Getting 17 years in general … he’ll always be beloved out here.”