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SAN DIEGO — Former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers announced his retirement from the NFL Wednesday after 17 seasons.

“Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day,” Rivers said in a statement. “It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League.”

Rivers, 39, played 16 years for the Chargers and his final season for the Indianapolis Colts.

He thanked those who cheered him on in America’s Finest City, which he called home from when he was drafted in 2004 to last January, when Rivers and his family moved to Florida.

“Thanks to the fans in San Diego and around the nation that both cheered and booed,” Rivers said.

Rivers spoke to Kevin Acee with the San Diego Union-Tribune late Tuesday, saying, “it’s just time. It’s just right.”

Rivers parted ways with the Los Angeles Chargers in February and went on to sign a one-year contract with the Colts.

In May, Rivers was hired as the head coach-in-waiting at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama, a position that would take effect when he retired. He told Acee that his growing desire to coach high school football helped him come to his decision.

“That’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.

Rivers finishes fifth all time in passing yards and fifth all time in passing touchdowns.