As franchise tags and free agent rumors swirl as the NFL’s new year approaches on March 15, here’s another one: Philip Rivers might want to come out of retirement.

Rich Eisen just returned from the NFL Scouting Combine and put together a list of the top five rumors he heard from multiple sources in Indianapolis, and his No. 5 on the list was that Rivers actually contacted two NFL teams before before the playoffs began to see if his services were needed.

Rivers, 41, never signed.

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL Wild Card playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park, NY

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL Wild Card playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park, NY (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

«We all know two teams that needed a quarterback at the end of the season,» Eisen began. «The third starting starters and they had a chance to go to the playoffs and maybe make a deep playoff run, meaning the Miami Dolphins and of course the San Francisco 49ers. I heard at the Combine that Philip Rivers contacted both. to return at the end of last year.»

Instead, the 49ers chose «Mr. Irrelevant» Brock Purdy as the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and that was to be expected considering how well he was playing. The Dolphins took Skylar Thompson, another seventh-round rookie who nearly gave him a big upset in Buffalo before the Bills closed the fight.

But could Rivers keep looking for a team that wants him?

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The New Orleans Saints reportedly attempted to bring their legend Drew Brees and Rivers out of retirement for a week during the 2021 season. Both quarterbacks declined.

Speaking in August 2021, Rivers, who was the first-year head football coach at St. Michael Catholic High School in Alabama, did not rule out a return to the league.

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers #17 and wide receiver Vincent Jackson #83 celebrate after connecting on a 55-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on September 25, 2011 in San Diego, Calif.

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers #17 and wide receiver Vincent Jackson #83 celebrate after connecting on a 55-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on September 25, 2011 in San Diego, Calif. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

«I’m not quite there,» he told the Los Angeles Times. «I’m going back there. I wouldn’t have made weight if I had to report last week, that’s for sure. But I’m getting back up and running, and shoot, occasionally throw a ball here in this heat. It’s not very hard to get a good foam.

«I’ll just stay ready. I want to make sure I’m very clear: I’m not predicting that I’ll play in December or January, for that matter. First, you have to have someone who loves you.» , and two, it has to be fine. But I haven’t ruled it out completely.»

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The Saints no longer need a quarterback, having reportedly signed Derek Carr to a four-year deal that takes him off the board. Aaron Rodgers is another wild card teams are hoping to hear about.

But, as the NFL has shown us before, quarterbacks coming out of retirement are nothing new. Tom Brady did it last season. Heck, Brett Favre did it three times.

Rivers spent 16 years with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, racking up eight Pro Bowls and becoming the team’s all-time passing leader with 59,271 yards in 228 games. Rivers was traded to the Chargers during the 2004 NFL Draft, where the Giants selected him fourth overall and made a trade for Eli Manning.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers watches from the sidelines during the first half of the Chargers' preseason NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, May 29. August 2019.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers watches from the sidelines during the first half of the Chargers’ preseason NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, May 29. August 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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Rivers’ last season in the league was with the Indianapolis Colts, a team that went 11-5 during the 2020 season but lost in the wild-card round. Many didn’t think it was an unexpected moment at Indy, but Rivers announced his retirement after the season.