In a report that shocked absolutely no one, ESPN’s Adam Schefter shares that Drew Brees is expected to retire following the 2020 season. While this likely won’t surprise anyone within the New Orleans Saints fanbase, it could potentially verify expectations.
The leaguewide expectation is that #Saints QB Drew Brees will officially retire after the season is over, per @AdamSchefter. Brees signed a broadcasting deal with NBC in April, and after going through a season that included 11 fractured ribs, Brees is likely done playing.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 3, 2021
As the tweet above highlights, Brees dealt with extensive injuries this season, signed a deal with NBC this offseason in addition also reportedly heavily contemplated retirement after the Pro Bowl.
The New Orleans Saints have carried a bit of a “do it for Drew” attitude all season and now, if the reports are true, the suspicions as to why may have just been confirmed.
Brees just recently surpassed 80,000 passing yards, becoming the first NFL quarterback to do so. But the hallmark of this potential final season will be his return from 11 rib fractures and a collapsed lung. Those injuries will drive the narratives of both his ultimate decision and his triumphant return. Especially as the Saints enter the playoffs and hope to make a Super Bowl run.
If “everyone” expects Drew Brees to retire this season, then most people will hope he gets his chance to ride off in the sunset with his second Lombardi Trophy as he cruises into the Hall of Fame once eligible.
The Saints will face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon with a chance to cap off the NFC South’s first ever divisional sweep and possibly earn the NFC’s number one seed. Brees is also on pace to finish his fourth straight season leading the NFL in completion percentage. Even though he likely won’t finish the year as the career leader in touchdowns thrown, his lengthy list of records are undeniable and will still do more than enough to hold up his legacy if he does indeed hang up the cleats following this season.
Based on this, Drew Brees’ cap hit will be $23.65M this year ($15.9M in dead money from his old deal, plus $7.75M of his new deal). If he were to retire after this season, that would leave $22.65M in dead money — pretty similar to what the Saints would have been facing this year. https://t.co/SFq1hSdRvD— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) March 18, 2020
It’s worth noting that the Saints will have some decisions to make based on who will be the next quarterback for the franchise, of course. In his Huddle and Flow podcast interview, head coach Sean Payton seemed to indicate that Jameis Winston will get a shot under the assumption he returns to New Orleans on another deal for 2021. Taysom Hill went 3-1 in his four-game opportunity while Brees was out this season.
Brees’ departure would come with some salary cap relief as well (~$13.5M), which is notably helpful with the expected drop in team salary caps next season. Any cost-effective decisions made at quarterback will help the team build around the position to remain competitive beyond the Brees-Payton era. The former Purdue Boilermaker has done a lot of work to help make sure that the Saints avoid a full-blown rebuild after his departure including team-friendly(ish) deals and mentoring potential replacements. Not every signal caller does that for their franchise, but Brees has and continues to do so.
Do you think this will be Brees’ final season? Let us know what you think. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC , “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @RossJacksonNOLA and subscribe to my daily Saints podcast, Locked On Saints.