New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees Has Retired From the NFL After 20 Seasons

Drew Brees Retiring With Saints Background

  • New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday.
  • Brees leaves as the NFL’s all-time leader in career-passing yards and second all-time in passing touchdowns.
  • Last month, Saints head coach Sean Payton said that the team’s next quarterback is already “in the building”.

Drew Brees has retired from the NFL after 20 seasons. And he couldn’t have picked a better way to do it, letting his children announce his decision:

It was a decision that was expected but one that many hoped didn’t come too soon. However, Brees had noting more to prove and his legacy in the NFL annals is secure. At the age of 42, it was time to spend more time with the kids rather than chase a second Super Bowl ring.

The Saints have the 10th best odds to win the Super Bowl at +2500 via the BetOnline App. They also have the 5th best odds to win the NFC championship at +1100. They won the Southeast Division for the 4th consecutive time in 2020, finishing with a regular season record of 12-4. They lost to the eventual Super Bowl winners Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Playoffs.

NFL’s All-Time Leader in Passing Yards

Brees retires as the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yards with 80,538 and second all-time in touchdown passes with 571 and completion percentage at 67.7%. But more than his statistical accomplishments, Brees will forever be remembered for helping revive the Saints franchise and lifting the City of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when he an coach Sean Payton arrived together in 2006.

Brees led the Saints to the NFC title game in his first season in New Orleans and steered the the team to its only Super Bowl win in franchise history three years later, winning MVP honors at Super Bowl XLIV. Although the Saints never made it back to the big game again, Brees led them to the playoffs in seven of the next 11 seasons.

New Orleans won five divisional titles after 2009, including four in a row from 2017-2020. They finished with at least 12 regular season wins during the previous three seasons but Brees’ finished his career with one of his worst playoff performances ever, throwing three interceptions for the first time in the playoffs in their loss to the Bucs.

One of the NFL’s Biggest Questions

Brees’ decision to retire leaves a huge void for the Saints in the quarterback position and is one of the biggest questions in the entire NFL. Currently, New Orleans only has Taysom Hill as their remaining quarterback. Hill is under contract through 2021 but remains unproven as a dual-threat quarterback. He did however go 3-1 as a starter last season when Brees was injured. Hill produced four touchdown passes, two TD runs, and two interceptions during that four-game stretch.

Their other back-up last season, Jameis Winston is an unsigned free agent although Payton made it clear that the Saints want to re-sign Winston to give him a chance to compete for the starting QB job. Winston signed with the Saints last summer on a minimal contract so he can learn from Payton and Brees while getting an opportunity to revive his career.

Winston is the current betting favorite to replace Brees at 3/2 at online sportsbook Hill is a close second at 3/1 at the same sportsbooks. Texans’ QB DeShaun Watson is third at 7/1 while Seahawks’ signal caller Russell Wilson is fourth at 10/1. However, if Sean Payton is to be believed, the Saints’ next QB is already “in the building”, leaving Winston and Hill as the likely successors to Brees.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.