Report: Drew Brees Signs NBC Sports Contract over ESPN for Career After Saints

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2020

NFC quarterback Drew Brees, of the New Orleans Saints, throws a pass during Pro Bowl NFL football practice, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
Steve Luciano/Associated Press

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees reportedly has his post-retirement plans in place. 

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Brees will sign with NBC Sports and not ESPN as part of a deal that will go into effect when he retires from the NFL. Sources told Marchand the plan is for Brees to "be groomed as the potential replacement for Cris Collinsworth on Sunday Night Football."

"Like all NFL fans, we look forward to watching Drew continue his Hall of Fame career this fall, and we are confident his post-playing career will be just as successful," NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes said.

Marchand noted the plan is to start Brees as a game analyst for Notre Dame football games on Saturdays and a studio analyst for Football Night in America on Sundays before he could join Al Michaels' successor, Mike Tirico, on Sunday Night Football.

This is apparently something of a blow for ESPN considering Marchand reported the network "was willing to wait" for Brees and wanted him to be part of its Monday Night Football broadcast.

What's more, ESPN attempted to hire Tony Romo away from CBS, as well as Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. Romo stayed with CBS, Manning declined and Rivers elected to continue his playing career on the Indianapolis Colts.

While Brees, 41, will eventually be in the announcing booth, his Saints still have Super Bowl hopes this season.

They are coming off three straight NFC South titles and missed the Super Bowl by a single game during the 2018 campaign following a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC Championship Game that featured a controversial no-call on possible pass interference.

Brees has a Super Bowl ring, two Offensive Player of the Year awards and 13 Pro Bowl selections on his resume and is well positioned to add to that in the coming season or two with a supporting cast of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, among others.

When he is done building that resume, he will have the chance to build one in the announcing world as well.