After 20 NFL seasons, quarterback Drew Brees has announced his retirement. Or rather, his kids did it for him.
In a video posted to Instagram Sunday afternoon, Brees’ children let the world know the five-time All-Pro is retiring, “to spend more time with us.” The post also included a caption from Brees, reading in part, “After 20 years as a player in the NFL and 15 years as a Saint, it is time I retire from the game of football.”
Brees was picked 32nd overall (which at the time was the first pick of the second round) in the 2001 NFL Draft by the then-San Diego Chargers. After he struggled to start his career, the Chargers drafted Philip Rivers in the first round in 2004. Still, Brees would start two more seasons in San Diego before suffering a severe injury in his throwing shoulder.
There were still questions about Brees’ shoulder as he entered free agency in 2006. The Saints and Miami Dolphins were the only two teams to show serious interest. However, the Dolphins’ medical staff advised the team that there were still major concerns with Brees’ shoulder, and the team elected to sign Daunte Culpepper instead. (Culpepper would start just four games for Miami, and was released the following year.)
The rest, as they say, his history. Brees went on to play 15 dominant seasons in New Orleans, highlighted by their win over the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. He retires as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, with 80,358. He’s second in touchdowns (571) and completion percentage (67.7), and fourth in wins (172). Over his 20 year career, he led the league in passing yards seven times, in touchdowns four times, and in completion percentage six times.
Although he is done playing, Brees won’t be leaving the NFL spotlight just yet. Last year, he signed a deal with NBC to be a part of their football coverage, starting in the studio on Football Night In America.
As for the Saints, they’re left with Taysom Hill as the lone quarterback on their roster. Shortly following Brees’ announcement, Tom Pelissero reported the team has “turned their attention” to Jameis Winston, who spent last season in New Orleans as Brees’ backup.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.