Drew Brees has ended his NFL career 15 years to the day after he signed with the Saints. After losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round of the playoffs, the New Orleans Saints star quarterback has retired from the NFL. He announced the big news with a family video posted on Instagram.
The clip showed Brees' children sitting on the couch. His three sons all had on No. 9 jerseys. "After 15 years with the Saints and 20 years in the NFL, our dad is finally going to retire," his children said in a combined message. "So that he can spend more time with us. Yay!" The children then jumped up off the couch while cheering.
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"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 wrote in the caption of his Instagram post. "Each day, I poured my heart & soul into being your Quarterback. Til the very end, I exhausted myself to give everything I had to the Saints organization, my team, and the great city of New Orleans. We shared some amazing moments together, many of which are emblazoned in our hearts and minds and will forever be a part of us."
The veteran QB continued and said that New Orleans has molded, strengthened, and inspired him while providing memories. He said that his goal during his time with the Saints was to give the city and the fans everything that they had given to him. Brees ended the message by saying that he is retiring from football but not from the city of New Orleans.
After the playoffs loss, Brees was asked if he was ready to retire. "Well, I'll answer this question one time, and that is that I'm going to give myself an opportunity to think about the season, think about a lot of things, just like I did last year, and make a decision," Brees said to reporters, as reported on the team's official website. It's been reported that 2020 would be the final season the Brees. However, it was also reported that 2019 would be the final year for the future Hall of Famer, but decided to return to make another run at the Super Bowl.
"I would never regret it. Never," Brees said. "No complaints, no regrets. Man, I've always tried to play this game with great respect, and a great reverence for it. I appreciate all that this game has given to me. There are obviously so many incredible memories, so many incredible relationships that have come as a result of playing this game."
Brees will go down as one of the top quarterbacks in NFL history. He never won an MVP award but was named Super Bowl MVP in 2009 after leading the Saints to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history. After spending his first five seasons with the San Diego Chargers (now Los Angeles Chargers), Brees signed with the Saints in 2006 and led the team to the NFC Championship in its first season. During the Super Bowl year, Brees completed a league-leading 70.6% of his passes and threw for 4,388 yards, 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His best season was in 2011, completing 71.2% of his passes while throwing for 5,476 yards, and 46 touchdowns. He finished his career with 80,358 yards and 571 touchdowns. He ranks first in all-time passing yards and second in all-time passing touchdowns.
Brees was drafted by the Chargers in the second round in 2001. His best season with the Chargers was in 2004 as he threw for 3,159 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Brees' next step is likely TV as he reportedly joining NBC Sports as an analyst.