Earlier this week, Drew Brees ended all uncertainty around him by deciding to retire. Brees effectively brings an end to his Hall of Fame career, where he experienced tremendous success. The former New Orleans Saints star quarterback‘s decision to finally head that route came down to a few factors.
Drew Brees retires after 20 NFL seasons
Following much speculation around his NFL future, Drew Brees has elected to retire after 20 NFL seasons.
Brees strung together an incredible career that saw him establish himself as one of the game’s greatest quarterbacks and likely a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He experienced tremendous individual and team success over his two decades in the league.
He enters retirement as the all-time leader with 80,358 passing yards, 7,142 completions, a 67.7% career completion rate, and second with 571 touchdown passes. Brees holds the NFL record with five 5,000 passing yard campaigns, while no other player has accomplished that feat more than once.
The 42-year-old also guided the Saints to a Super Bowl win while earning Super Bowl MVP, earned 13 Pro Bowl selections, led the league in passing yards seven times, and earned a pair of NFL Offensive Player of the Year awards. As Brees transitions into retirement, it was a decision that came about due to particular reasons.
Drew Brees confesses the heartfelt reason why he decided to retire
As for any professional athlete, stepping into retirement is an extremely difficult decision.
Drew Brees falls directly into that category, as he called it one of the most challenging choices in his life. During his press conference with NBC Sports, Brees voiced that the injuries combined with his family guided him to retire.
“At the end of the day, the factors that go into this are, I’ve always said as long as I can play the game at a high level; I’m having fun doing it; and I’m able to stay healthy, then this is something I’ll do forever,” Brees said. “Obviously, I’ve had some injuries the last two years that have been frustrating. Both of them kind of freak things. I don’t think they were injuries that were saying I was getting old.
“But nonetheless, I had the thumb that ruled me five games two years ago, and then had the ribs and the lung that holds me out for four games this past year. Could I keep playing? Yeah, I’m sure I could. But I’m also looking at my kids, my family, the age of my kids, and just gauging all of those things. There’s a balance there. I also just felt like I would just feel it. I would feel when it was time. I felt that it was time.”
Brees also voiced that he approached the last few seasons as each was his last, which shows that retirement has been on his mind. Everything simply fell in place this offseason to guide him toward retirement.
The previous two seasons had been difficult on the field as he struggled with injuries missing nine total games. His play had taken a notable decline late in last season, which many believed father time had caught up to him. All of that, combined with his kids getting older, made him reach the point where he’s at peace with stepping away.
What lies ahead next for him
The next act in Drew Brees’ life will see him quickly step into the media side of football.
Brees will shortly begin his journey with NBC Sports as he will work both as an NFL analyst on Football Night in America and a game analyst for Notre Dame Football.
It will be the first time that Brees will have experience in that line of work, as he will rely significantly on his vast football knowledge. The blueprint is there for the transition, with many other former NFL quarterbacks heading that same career route.
The list includes Tony Romo, Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason, Michael Vick, Dan Fouts, and Troy Aikman. Ultimately, the upcoming months will be quite critical for him to quickly get acclimated to his new career path.