Drew Brees' retirement from the NFL is now official. On Friday the New Orleans Saints placed Brees on the reserve/retired list, and this is happening three months after the future Hall of Fame quarterback announced he was moving on from the NFL. Brees retires after playing in the league for 20 seasons, and 15 of those seasons were with the Saints.
Shortly after his announcement, Brees explained why he decided to retire now. "I felt that it was time," he said. "Could I keep playing? Yeah, I'm sure I could. But I'm also looking at my kids, my family, the age of my kids. And just gauging all of those things, there's a balance there. And I also just felt like I would just feel it - I would feel when it was time."
Brees revealed that he knew that 2020 would be his final season. It ended with the Saints reaching the second round of the playoff but losing to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who went on to win the Super Bowl. Brees, who led the Saints to a Super Bowl win in 2009, was looking to win another title before he called it quits.
"I've always said as long as I could play the game at a high level, I'm having fun doing it and able to stay healthy, then this is something I'll do forever," Brees said. "Obviously, I've had some injuries the last two years that have been frustrating -- both of them kind of freak things. [But] I don't think they were injuries that were saying I was getting old."
Brees, 42, will walk into the Po Football Hall of Fame five years from now. Along with winning a Super Bowl and being named Super Bowl MVP, Brees is the NFL's all-time passing leader with 80,358 yards. He has thrown 571 career touchdowns and has a passer rating of 98.7. Brees holds the record for most career pass completions (7,142), most pass completions in a season (471) and highest completion percentage in a season (74.4). Brees is also the only player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards five times in a career.
As for who will be the Saints' new starting quarterback, it's going to be a battle between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. When Brees went down with multiple injuries last year he started four games and post a 3-1 record.