Philip Rivers announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, and his Hall of Fame candidacy has already become a popular topic of debate.
Antonio Gates believes his former teammate is worthy of Canton despite never winning a Super Bowl.
JR SportBrief agrees.
“Philip Rivers showed up for a long time, was healthy, kept his team for the most part in a position to win, could make the throws, could put up the numbers, could put up the stats – they just didn’t get over the hump,” JR said on CBS Sports Radio. “That’s not solely his fault. We talk about Aaron Rodgers, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Aaron Rodgers isn’t running around with six Super Bowls. He’s got one. You can take a look at Drew Brees. One Super Bowl. Okay, Ben Roethlisberger has two. Russell Wilson has one. Should have had two. But a Super Bowl isn’t for anybody, and for a guy here in Philip Rivers who played in the same era and the same [conference] as Tom Brady, I’m not going to punish Philip Rivers for not having won a Super Bowl.”
Rivers, an eight-time Pro Bowler, played 17 NFL seasons. He ranks fifth in NFL history with 63,440 passing yards. Only Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre have thrown for more yards.
Rivers was also consistently effective. He threw for 4,000+ yards in each of his final 13 seasons and has led the league in passer rating (2008), passing touchdowns (2008), passing yards (2010), and completion percentage (2013).
“For his longevity, for his ability, for his stats, for what he’s done, Philip Rivers deserves to go into the Hall of Fame,” JR said. “I know some people want to treat the Hall of Fame like it’s going into the gates of heaven, but listen, it’s just to honor some of the greatest football players who put on a helmet. And from the time that Philip Rivers has got into the NFL and started taking snaps, you got to put him out there. There’s only a handful of quarterbacks over the past 20 years who legitimately have been as good as Philip Rivers. So I think he’s a Hall of Famer.”