Drew Brees Rumors: Saints QB Will Retire at the End of NO's Playoff Run

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2021

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees warms up before the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

The end of the road may be near for Drew Brees.

Ahead of the New Orleans Saints' divisional-round clash with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported Sunday the future Hall of Fame quarterback is planning to retire upon the conclusion of the team's playoff run:

Brees turned 42 on Friday, so his retirement won't come as a surprise when it does happen. That the 13-time Pro Bowler has already made up his mind is a bit unexpected, though.

The Saints have their starting quarterback signed through the 2021 season, and he's set to count for nearly $36.2 million against the salary cap, due in part to a $25 million salary and $5.8 million signing bonus.

Brees' performance dipped a bit this season relative to recent years. He threw for 2,942 yards, 24 touchdowns and six interceptions. His 245.2 passing yards per game were the lowest of his Saints tenure, which dates back to 2006.

The fractured ribs and collapsed lung he suffered might be playing into his decision, too.

Brees now has the opportunity to ride off into the sunset like John Elway and Peyton Manning, who won a Super Bowl before bowing out. He'd also be giving the Saints some time to formulate a succession plan.

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Taysom Hill took the bulk of the snaps when Brees was injured, and unlike Jameis Winston, he's already under contract for next year. Hill's production (88-of-121, 928 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions) still raises doubts about his suitability in the starting role.

Should the Saints fall short of a Super Bowl title, perhaps Brees could be convinced to give it one more go. But fans better enjoy the legendary signal-caller while they still can.