Philip Rivers has retired from the NFL. In five years, the man who finishes fifth on the all-time passing yardage and touchdowns list will be considered for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.
Will he make it?
On the first try, probably not. He didn’t play in a Super Bowl, unlike the other two quarterbacks taken (with Rivers) in the first 11 selections of round one of the 2004 draft. Eli Manning won a pair of Super Bowls, as did Ben Roethlisberger.
Beyond not being the most accomplished of his class, Rivers never was the best quarterback in the game, or second best. In 17 seasons, Rivers never was named a first-team or second-team All Pro. That’s no surprise, considering that Rivers spent the bulk of his career competing with the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees — each of whom will get a bronze bust on the first try.
Rivers won’t, and should’t, gain entry on his first eligibility for admission. Eventually, he likely will. And here’s what will help him: TV.
If Rivers becomes a broadcaster, he’ll become a beloved broadcaster. He’ll be great at it. And in time his football accomplishments and TV accomplishments will combine, boosting his candidacy as a player.
That’s how John Madden made it as a coach (the video game helped, too). It’s how Dick LeBeau made it as a player, with his coaching accomplishments getting him over the top.
So, yes, Rivers eventually will get in. And what he does next could help him get there.