NFL

NFL: When Will Saints QB Drew Brees Retire?

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees

Drew Brees has had a prolific career since joining the NFL in 2001, including winning and being named MVP of Super Bowl XLIV. But being in the league for that long means that Brees is getting older and has a lot of mileage on his body.

He turned 40 in January, which makes him the second-oldest quarterback in the league behind just Tom Brady. With that said, the end of Brees’ playing career will come sooner than later, but how soon? Has Brees dropped any hints as to when he may decide to retire?

Will Brees’ family affect his decision?

Drew Brees has, in the past, talked about wanting to continue playing until he’s 45, which would be in 2024. But in an October interview with Jay Glazer of The Athletic, Brees seemed to hedge on that a bit, indicating that he may retire prior to the age of 45. Not because of health concerns or because he doesn’t think he’ll still be able to play at that point, but because he wants to spend more time with his family.

When asked how long he’s going to continue playing, Brees responded:

“Do I feel like I could play this game for a lot longer? Until I’m 45 and beyond? Yes I do, if that was truly what I wanted to do I feel like I could do that, God willing, health wise and everything. But I’m telling you I’ll walk away from this game prior to that.”

He went on to say that when he calls it a career, “it’ll be because I want to spend more time with my family, because I’m ready for that next chapter, and I’ll feel like I gave it everything I wanted to give it.”

Drew Brees knows the end is approaching

Drew Brees has played football for his entire adult life, beginning with all four years he attended Purdue University from 1997-2000. So it’ll be bittersweet when he finally does take off his uniform for the last time. That’s why later in the Athletic interview, Brees indicated that even thinking about retirement has made him “value each and every day that much more” and want to “stay in the moment that much more because I just don’t know when it will be over and I just want to maximize each and every second.”

He doesn’t have much left to prove

Brees’ legacy in the sport is already secured with everything he has accomplished to date, from his Super Bowl title and MVP to his two AP Offensive Player of the Year awards and his 12 Pro Bowl appearances. He hasn’t won a regular-season MVP award, but that is partially because Brady has won three of them during their overlapping careers.

Drew Brees also holds a number of passing records, including most completions and passing yards. He’s second in career passing touchdowns and is within reach of Peyton Manning, who is ahead of Brees by 19, but Brady is only three behind Brees, so both are within striking distance of the No. 1 spot on that leaderboard.

The bottom line is Saints fans should enjoy the time that they have left with Brees under center because it seems like he may be getting closer to retirement than what was previously thought. If he’s able to lead the Saints to their second Super Bowl championship in February, Brees’ retirement may come even quicker if he decides to call it quits on a high note.

Drew Brees isn’t the only member of the veteran quarterback class who is closing in on retirement, with others like Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, and Aaron Rodgers also in the tail end of their careers.