Tom Brady surprised everyone when he announced his retirement in February. But what was more shocking was to see him announce his return to the league five weeks after his retirement announcement. Legendary NFL quarterback Drew Brees was not shocked to see Brady return, and he explained why in an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com.
"I had a feeling that it probably wasn't ... it wasn't really a retirement social media post," Brees exclusively told PopCulture. "It was a thank you to the fans, which is obviously ... I know Tom well enough to know that he's always going to take that approach just that when he left, same thing obviously when he left New England. You pour your heart out to the fans, let them know how much you appreciate them and your teammates and everything, but I didn't get the feeling that it was a retirement social media post."
Brees is referring to when Brady announced his retirement on social media. This came shortly after he and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs. While Brady will turn 45 years old next week, he still can play at a high level as he threw for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns last season.
Brady and Brees have played together for 20 years. Brady was drafted in 2000 while Brees was drafted the following year. Both quarterbacks have had their share of battles on the field over the years, and Brees' final game with the New Orleans Saints was against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in the divisional round of the playoffs in 2020.
"We came up together," Brees said. "We played against each other in college and obviously a bunch in the pros. And I think we both made statements maybe 10 years ago or so that we felt like we could play till 45, which, unfortunately, my shoulder injury from 2006 ended up finally catching up with me. But his ability to take care of his body and sustain a very, very high level of performance. You felt like playing until 45 is very realistic. Well, guess what? He's going to turn 45 here, I think pretty soon. So I think he's just fulfilling the path that he laid out 10 years ago."