It’s really not that hard for dudes like Brady, Rivers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson to play forever ... ‘cause they’re studs who don’t ever get hit like running backs do.
It is an interesting take on the debate, though Gordon appears to insinuate that top-tier QBs can last longer than running backs because they take less violent hits.
His comments show a remarkable trust and pride in his current QB. It wasn’t long ago that retirement rumors were swirling after some disappointing seasons. While Rivers never mentioned retirement directly, he did credit those rumors as being his motivation for stellar 2016 and 2017 campaigns. Philip Rivers clearly has a lot left in the tank, but age 45 is asking a lot of the signal caller.
“I feel like those guys ... they quit when they want to, man. As long as their arm’s working, and they feel like they can throw and they can be in there, there’s going to be someone that want them.”
A key point in his comment would be ‘as long as their arm’s working,’ because even quarterbacks begin a quick and ugly decline once they reach the 4-decade mark.
In the end, in true Melvin Gordon fashion, his comments seem less about the state of quarterback resiliency, and more about the beatings that he feels he takes in his own position. He’s not wrong- the career of a RB is roughly half of that of an average qauarterback.
According to Statista, average career lengths in the NFL:
Time will tell if Philip Rivers is able to challenge any of Tom Brady’s many records, though he does have one or two already notched on his belt. Each year, when Hall of Fame discussion heats up about Rivers, people are split on his chances. If he’s still playing at a high level at age 45, the debate is officially over!
-Jason “GOATell It On the Mountain” Michaels