Drew Brees

Drew Brees To Retire After Postseason

It’s been rumored for a while, but it’s inching closer to being official now. Saints quarterback Drew Brees will indeed retire whenever New Orleans’ season is over, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports (Twitter video link).

That means that no matter what, tonight will be Brees’ last game at the Superdome, as the Saints will be going on the road to Green Bay next if they win. This is in line with what we heard earlier this weekend, when it was reported that those close to the veteran signal-caller believed he’d hang up his cleats. He could always reverse course, but it looks like this is really the end of the line for 42-year-old.

If that’s the case, it’ll wrap up one of the most illustrious careers in NFL history, with Brees’ name going down all over the record books. He currently has the most yards in league history, and the second-most touchdowns behind Tom Brady. Brees signed a deal with NBC Sports last April, so he’s already got his post-playing career lined up.

There’s been speculation for a couple years now that Brees was nearing the end, and he’s missed significant time with health issues in each of the past two seasons. The moment it’s official, all eyes will immediately turn to what New Orleans will do to replace the man who has been the starter since the 2006 season.

Taysom Hill is the only other passer currently on the roster, although that same report from earlier this weekend indicated they’d like to re-sign Jameis Winston, who is set to be a free agent. Hill was up and down during his stretch as the team’s starter this year while Brees missed time with a rib injury.

Reports have indicated in the past that Sean Payton views Hill as the team’s starter of the future, although it’s unclear if he still feels that way after getting a closer look at him under center in 2020. We’ll have a much longer and more sentimental post on Brees’ retirement whenever the Purdue product and Super Bowl XLIV champ confirms the news himself.

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Latest On Drew Brees’ Future

While Drew Brees has been quiet about his future, those close to him believe he’ll hang up his cleats following the season. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport relays that “everybody believes that [Brees] will retire at the end of this season” (Twitter link). The 42-year-old is “hoping for one last run through the playoffs…hoping to end his career on the podium holding a big trophy.”

While we’ve yet to hear anything definitive about the future Hall of Fame’s status going forward, the writing has been on the wall for a while. Brees inked a deal with NBC Sports last April, signaling his post-playing career. The organization also agreed to an extension with Taysom Hill this offseason, keeping their backup QB under club control through 2021. Predictably, GM Mickey Loomis recently said that Brees would be welcomed back if he wanted to continue playing beyond this season, but the executive also revealed that no final decision has been made.

The Saints got a glimpse of what a post-Brees team could look like in 2020. The veteran missed four games, with Hill going 3-1 in his stead. While Hill is better known for his versatile skill set (he finished the season with 555 yards from scrimmage and nine rushing and receiving touchdowns), he showed that he’s capable under center. The 30-year-old finished the season having completed 72.7-percent of his passes for 928 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions.

It sounds like the Saints are also interested in retaining the third quarterback on their roster. Rapoport reports that the organization would like to re-sign Jameis Winston, noting that the Saints “love what they’ve seen in practice.” While the team has touted Winston’s arm strength and work ethic, they’re still (predictably) wary of his tendency of interception. The former first-overall pick got into four games this season, completing seven of his 11 pass attempts for 75 yards.

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Saints GM: Brees’ Playing Future Is Up To Him

Most believe that Saints quarterback and slam-dunk HOFer Drew Brees will retire at season’s end. New Orleans has prepared for just such a scenario, as it agreed to an extension with Taysom Hill this offseason to keep Hill under club control through 2021.

However, GM Mickey Loomis said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio that no decisions have been made one way or another with respect to Brees’ future (via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk). Loomis added that, if Brees wants to return, the Saints will welcome him back.

“We give him his space, we give him time at the end of the season to determine that, and we’ll see what happens next year,” Loomis said. “I’m not counting him out. It’s going to be entirely up to him.”

If the Saints, who have dealt with heartbreaking playoff exits over the past couple of seasons, are able to capture the Lombardi Trophy this year, it would certainly be a surprise to see Brees come back. After all, he has already signed a deal with NBC Sports, and his transition to the broadcast booth is expected to be a seamless one. But if New Orleans should suffer another difficult defeat, perhaps the soon-to-be 42-year-old will try one last time for a second championship ring. Like Hill, he is under contract through 2021.

Brees has clearly lost some arm strength, but he continued to play at a high level in 2020, even though he and star wideout Michael Thomas were only on the field together in three games. Brees once again completed over 70% of his passes and threw for 24 TDs against just six interceptions en route to a 106.4 quarterback rating. He missed just four games despite suffering 11 fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, and he will lead his troops against the Bears on Sunday afternoon, a matchup in which the Saints are heavily favored.

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Drew Brees Returns To Saints Practice, To Start Week 15

Dec. 18: Brees will get the start in the Saints’ key matchup with the Chiefs this weekend, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The team believes Brees is fully healthy, and the Saints’ doctors have cleared him to play. The Saints activated Brees from IR on Saturday. New Orleans fell out of the NFC’s top seed thanks to its loss to the Eagles last week, and a loss in the marquee battle with Kansas City could scuttle any hopes of a first-round bye.

Dec. 16: As expected, the Saints made the official step of designating Drew Brees to return to practice Wednesday. Although Brees practiced for the first time since suffering a punctured lung and 11 rib fractures Nov. 15, he still has some hurdles to negotiate before returning to action.

The Saints want to see the future Hall of Fame passer display a full range of motion before sending him back into action. His timetable has gone from being a good bet to start against the Chiefs on Sunday to being questionable “at best” for that pivotal interconference matchup.

He’s got a ways to go still, and he’s someone we’re not gonna just hurry back and just put him in the game,” Sean Payton said, via ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett. “I think the significance of the injuries are such that you’ve gotta make sure he can function and feel confident.”

Brees fared well Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who notes the soon-to-be 42-year-old passer was not in much pain while practicing for the first time officially in a month (video link). The Saints have three weeks to activate Brees. While the Saints are 8-1 without Brees over the past two seasons, their loss to the Eagles allowed the Packers to move past them in the race for the NFC’s bye.

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Drew Brees Without Return Timetable

While it would aid the Saints’ Super Bowl hopes if Drew Brees were able to suit up against the Chiefs on Sunday, it is starting to look like that will be a long shot.

The future Hall of Fame passer does not have a return timetable, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes the Saints want to see their starter have a full range of motion before returning. Brees would not have been able to play against the Eagles and is expected to be questionable “at best” to suit up against the Chiefs. Brees’ last throwing session did not go especially well, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). He will attempt to throw again Wednesday.

This comes several days after Schefter reported Brees was progressing well and was a good bet to return for the Chiefs matchup. The Saints are hoping Brees can practice on a limited basis this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com adds (video link). New Orleans still holds a de facto three-game NFC South lead, thanks to its sweep of Tampa Bay, and has games against Minnesota and Carolina on tap to close the regular season.

Brees suffered numerous cracked ribs and a punctured lung last month, and the Saints have used Taysom Hill as their starter over the past four games. New Orleans’ loss in Philadelphia, however, gave Green Bay the inside track on the NFC’s lone bye. No team has qualified for a Super Bowl without a bye since 2012, and the Saints have only won one road playoff game in franchise history. However, more teams figure to advance to Super Bowls sans byes in the coming years due to the new playoff format, and a trip to Green Bay this season would not be as daunting for playoff teams — due to COVID-19 attendance restrictions. The Saints are one game up on the Rams and Seahawks for the NFC’s No. 2 seed.

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Drew Brees’ Recovery Progressing Well

Saints QB Drew Brees is making good progress in his recovery from 11 fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com details. The 41-year-old passer is eligible to come off injured reserve for New Orleans’ matchup with the Eagles next Sunday, and there is a chance that he will indeed be back in action then.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network also hears that Brees is approaching full health, though he says that the Saints may hold out the future Hall of Famer until the team’s Week 15 bout with the Chiefs (video link). Regardless, head coach Sean Payton will have a critical decision to make soon.

Payton and the Saints have long considered Taysom Hill to be Brees’ successor, and in his first two games as the team’s starting QB, Hill has not disappointed. In a Week 10 win against the Falcons, he threw for 223 yards on an efficient 18-for-23 passing, and he has scored four rushing TDs on nearly five yards-per-carry over the past two weeks. His Week 13 passing effort was nothing to write home about — nine of 16 for 78 yards and a pick — but he didn’t need to do much through the air for the Saints to roll to a 31-3 win over the QB-less Broncos.

Obviously, Brees will be reinserted into the starting lineup soon, but Hill’s performance has given the Saints the option to be patient with Brees’ return. As of now, it continues to look as though Hill, who signed an extension earlier this year keeping him under club control through 2021, will be New Orleans’ permanent QB next season.

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Latest on Taysom Hill, Drew Brees

Today could be the dawn of a new era for the Saints, as Taysom Hill will get the nod at quarterback in place of the injured Drew Brees. Although some were surprised that New Orleans would turn to Hill instead of the considerably more experienced Jameis Winston, the Saints and head coach Sean Payton have made it clear that they see Hill as a long-term starter.

This offseason, the Saints and Hill agreed to a two-year, $21MM extension that keeps the 30-year-old under club control through the 2021 season. $16MM of that money was guaranteed at signing, and though the contract represents a big commitment for a backup QB/Swiss Army knife, it’s a modest payout for a starting signal-caller. And soon after the deal was signed, reports surfaced indicating that the club plans to give the job to Hill if Brees retires at the end of the 2020 campaign as expected.

So, one reason New Orleans is inserting Hill into the starting lineup is simply because it believes in him and thinks he provides the best chance to win in Brees’ absence. The other, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, is that the Saints need to know what they have in Hill.

A source familiar with Payton’s thinking said, “Sean just wants to know,” when asked why the head coach is forging ahead with Hill. After all, Hill has thrown just 18 passes in his pro career, and Brees’ injury gives the Saints a perfect opportunity to see if their faith in the BYU product is justified. If Hill struggles, the club could pivot to Winston, and it could also save $5MM against the 2021 cap by cutting Hill after the season.

Some within the organization do not agree with Payton’s choice, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Winston apparently has plenty of support among the team’s staffers, and Payton himself struggled with the decision. Depending on how things play out over the coming weeks, Winston remains an option for 2021.

As for Brees himself, his injury is even more extensive than previously thought. According to Ed Werder of ESPN.com, Brees has 11 rib fractures — eight on his left side and three on his right (Twitter link). However, doctors have been encouraged by Brees’ progress, including improvement in his lung function, and the 41-year-old passer believes he will be able to come off IR as soon as he is eligible in Week 14 (Twitter links via Werder).

Even if it takes until Week 15 for Brees to return to the field, it sounds like the Saints will have the future Hall of Famer back in time for at least one more playoff run.

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Saints Place Drew Brees On IR

Drew Brees is now guaranteed to miss at least three games. The Saints placed the future Hall of Fame quarterback on IR on Friday, shelving him until Week 14.

Sean Payton declined to confirm reports Taysom Hill will replace Brees in New Orleans’ starting lineup instead of Jameis Winston. But that appears to be the plan, with ESPN.com’s Dianna Russini indicating the team is not planning to use Winston in any packages Sunday (Twitter link).

This is quite the bold strategy for the Saints, considering Hill has thrown 18 career passes. Winston may well see time during Brees’ absence, as he did when Brees went down in Week 10, but the former Buccaneers QB is currently set to be Hill’s backup. This certainly represents a step back for the five-year Bucs starter, who stands to be a free agent again in 2021.

As for Brees, he has sought additional opinions regarding his punctured lung and cracked ribs this week. The 41-year-old passer is believed to have fractured at least five ribs and punctured a lung. He was already confirmed to miss at least two games; the IR distinction will provide the Saints a roster spot.

Given the steep dropoff between Brees and his backups, this certainly could reshape the NFC playoff picture. Only one team receives a bye this year, thanks to the new CBA’s expanded playoff bracket, and no team has made a Super Bowl appearance without a bye since 2012. The Saints did win five games with Teddy Bridgewater starting last year, however. Over the next three weeks, the Saints have two games against the Falcons — in Weeks 11 and 13 — and one against the Broncos.

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Saints’ Drew Brees To Miss At Least 2 Games

The Saints will be without Drew Brees for at least a little while longer. The latest round of tests on the quarterback more or less matched the previous one, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). With cracked ribs on both sides and a punctured lung, Brees will be out for the next two weeks at the minimum. After that, the Saints’ medical staff will closely monitor Brees’ condition to assess whether he can return to the field.

With Brees sidelined, Jameis Winston is expected to start for the Saints with his first assignment coming on Sunday against the Falcons.Winston filled in for Brees after his early exit against the 49ers, completing six of ten passes for 63 yards in the second half. This is a massive opportunity for Winston to reassert himself before free agency, even if his starting gig only lasts for a couple of weeks. The former first overall pick signed a one-year deal with the Saints back in April. Meanwhile, Brees is looking ahead to his broadcasting future, which means that Winston could be auditioning for the long-term position.

Given Brees’ impressive track record of playing through the pain — and the presence of Taysom Hill — many questioned the wisdom of Winston’s offseason decision. Now, he’ll have an opportunity to show what he can do at the helm of one of the NFL’s best teams.

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Latest On Drew Breees

The top story in the NFL right now remains the injury to Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and exactly how long he’ll be out. We’re still a bit in the dark, but we’ve got a couple new developments to pass along.

Brees is having his scans sent to other experts for a second opinion on his cracked ribs and collapsed lung, a source told Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Brees has five clear rib fractures but could have even more, Werder noted in a follow-up tweet. Werder writes it’ll be the second opinion that determines whether or not Brees goes on injured reserve and in turn misses a minimum of three games.

We originally heard that injured reserve wasn’t being immediately considered, but it now sounds like that’s very much on the table. The absolute best case scenario seems to be that Jameis Winston and/or Taysom Hill fill in for the next couple of games. Ideally Brees would get a few games to readjust before the playoffs start, but he may not have that luxury. In a final tweet Werder says a source told him no determination on the length of his absence will be made until after the second opinions come in, so everything is still in flux.

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