King: Drew Brees Had Shoulder Surgery Before Rumors About Future, Return to Saints

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 16, 2022

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Former NFL quarterback Drew Brees had left shoulder surgery May 2, roughly two weeks before the 43-year-old brought up the idea of playing again in a pair of tweets, according to Peter King of NBC Sports:

"One friend of Brees told me Sunday he hasn’t mentioned playing to him this offseason, and his left shoulder surgery May 2, at age 43, after not playing football for 16 months, would seems to make a return to football problematic at best. Another person who knows Brees told me Sunday night, 'He’s not playing football.'"

Brees, a 13-time Pro Bowler who retired in March 2021 after 20 NFL seasons, brought up the idea of playing again while referencing his old team's signings of wide receiver Jarvis Landry and safety Tyrann Mathieu, as well as rumors that he was out after one season as an NBC broadcaster.

Drew Brees @drewbrees

Man..signing <a href="https://twitter.com/Juice_Landry?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@juice_landry</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Mathieu_Era?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mathieu_era</a> makes me want to come back and play again!!! Great additions…leaders and players! <a href="https://t.co/ARvwQbnPUU">https://t.co/ARvwQbnPUU</a>

Drew Brees @drewbrees

Despite speculation from media about my future this fall, I’m currently undecided. I may work for NBC, I may play football again, I may focus on business and philanthropy, I may train for the pickleball tour, senior golf tour, coach my kids or all of the above. I’ll let you know

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Sunday that Brees' tenure as an NBC studio and game analyst was done after just one season in a decision he called "mutual."

For numerous reasons, a return to the playing field doesn't seem plausible.

For starters, it seems unlikely that Brees would return to the Saints, who signed expected starter Jameis Winston to a two-year, $28 million contract.

Brees could head elsewhere, but as Trey Wingo of Pro Football Network and Caesars Sportsbook noted, that seems unlikely:

trey wingo @wingoz

5 of the 13 5,000 passing yard seasons in NFL history belong to Brees. But he had shoulder surgery earlier this month, is 43 and hasn’t played football in almost 17 months. A return to the field seems like a long shot <a href="https://t.co/EMqyMwrIlM">https://t.co/EMqyMwrIlM</a>

Brees could still sling the ball when his career ended. He ranked sixth in quarterback rating (106.4) and ESPN's QBR (68.3) during his final season en route to leading the Saints to a 12-4 record.

That performance capped a career that included 80,358 passing yards (seven passing yards titles), 571 touchdowns and a 67.7 percent completion rate.

Brees, who played five seasons with the then-San Diego Chargers before 15 more with the Saints, also led New Orleans to the Super Bowl XLIV title.

Signs ultimately point to his playing career being over, but regardless of what path Brees chooses next, a trip to Canton, Ohio, for an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame should be on the ledger in a few years.


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