Drew Brees

Saints’ Drew Brees Officially Placed On Retired List

The Saints officially placed quarterback Drew Brees on the reserve/retired list (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Field Yates). Of course, Brees already announced his retirement earlier this year. But, for cap reasons, the move was delayed until after June 1st. 

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. Each day, I poured my heart and 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,” Brees said, back in March.

With the 13-time Pro Bowler out of the picture, the Saints are heading into ’21 with Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston as their top QBs. Hill offers athleticism, Winston has a cannon arm, but neither player has experience to compare to Brees. Unfortunately, Father Time ultimately caught up with the future Hall of Famer, so the Saints will have to adjust.

Brees, who has the most passing yards in league history, leaves the game with upwards of $250MM in career earnings — not including his off-the-field endorsements. That should be just enough to hold him in retirement.

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Drew Brees Retires From NFL

Well, it’s officially official. One of the best quarterbacks of this century is hanging up his cleats, as Drew Brees announced his retirement (with help from his kids) in an Instagram video post on Sunday.

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. 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,” Brees wrote in the caption.

“You have molded me, strengthened me, inspired me, and given me a lifetime of memories. My goal for the last 15 years was striving to give to you everything you had given to me and more. I am only retiring from playing football, I am not retiring from New Orleans. This is not goodbye, rather a new beginning. Now my real life‘s work begins!”

This had been the expectation all along, but there was some doubt injected recently as many wondered what was taking Brees so long to make it official. A workout video posted by his trainer sparked some speculation that Brees could be planning on playing in 2021 after all. As it turns out it looks like Brees was waiting for a sentimental date, as many were quick to point out that today marks 15 years to the day since Brees first signed with the Saints back in 2006.

Brees signed with NBC last April to line up his post-playing career, and will now presumably transition to the broadcast booth like Tony Romo and many others before him. He’ll reportedly be commentating Notre Dame football games to start.

A second-round pick out of Purdue all the way back in 2001, Brees had an incredible career that ended up spanning two full decades. He spent his first five pro seasons with the Chargers, and after a devastating shoulder injury that many feared at the time would have long-term effects, signed with New Orleans in 2006. He helped turn a franchise in a pitiful state into a consistent winner, and will now be headed to Canton soon enough.

The peak of his career on the gridiron came during the 2009 season, when he led the Saints to a Super Bowl XLIV title. His name is all over the record books, as he currently has the most passing yards in NFL history among plenty of other similar accomplishments.

The 13-time Pro Bowler’s retirement now sends New Orleans into their most uncertain offseason in some time. Sean Payton has his work cut out for him, and must now choose between Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston, or bringing in an outside the box option. Payton issued a statement reflecting on Brees’ career, which you can read via this tweet from Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football.

All of us here at PFR wish Brees the best in retirement, and thank him for his many contributions to the game.

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PFR Poll: Will Saints’ Drew Brees Retire?

In the midst of the playoffs, it was widely reported that Drew Brees would retire after the season. Now, we’re in March, and Brees has yet to make any sort of announcement. 

Of course, Brees has nothing left to prove. The 42-year-old can walk away with one of the most illustrious careers in the history of the sport. He currently has the most yards in league history, and more touchdowns than anyone not named Tom Brady. He even has his post-retirement career lined up after signing a deal with NBC Sports last April.

Brees has missed significant time with health issues in each of the past two seasons and he’d be leaving the Saints in a pretty okay place, provided that they can re-sign Jameis Winston. The Saints also have Taysom Hill on the roster with hope that he can be the answer under center in the long run. So, what’s the hold up?

Over the past few weeks, many have speculated that Brees could be having second thoughts about retiring. The longer this goes on, the more chatter picks up about the Super Bowl XLIV champ actually playing in 2021 on the (effectively) final year of his contract.

At this point, do you expect Brees to retire? Cast your vote below (link for app users) and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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The Only NFL Players With No-Trade Clauses

It’s fairly common for disgruntled NFL players to give their teams a short list of acceptable trade destinations. However, it’s still quite rare for players to hold contractual veto power over a trade. Currently, there are only nine NFL players with a no-trade clause in their deals, as ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets

▪️ Drew Brees, QB (Saints)
▪️ Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OL (Chiefs)
▪️ Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers)
▪️ Jimmy Graham, TE (Bears)
▪️ DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Cardinals)
▪️ Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs)
▪️ Deshaun Watson, QB (Texans)
▪️ J.J. Watt, DL (Cardinals)
▪️ Russell Wilson, QB (Seahawks)

The Chiefs, who represent 25% of the list, furnished LDT with a NTC as a part of his contract restructure. Historically, there haven’t been many offensive lineman to secure the clause. However, Duvernay-Tardif had a bit of leverage in 2020 when the Chiefs needed extra cap room. He was scheduled to count for nearly $9MM, $6.45MM of which was comprised of base salary. Instead, he converted some of that money into a signing bonus over the remaining three years and came away with a perk typically reserved for quarterbacks.

Watson and Wilson are among the QBs who can block trades. They’re both putting it to use, albeit in different ways. Watson wants out — even after finally meeting with new head coach David Culley – and he’s steering himself towards a small group of teams, including the Dolphins and Panthers. Wilson, meanwhile, says that he doesn’t want to get traded and doesn’t expect to get traded. But, if the Seahawks do shop him, he wouldn’t mind joining up with the Bears, Cowboys, Saints or Raiders. In beating out several other teams for Watt, the Cardinals included the clause in the star defender’s contract.

Saints, QB Drew Brees Renegotiate Contract

In a move that further signals the future Hall of Famer’s impending retirement, Drew Brees has reworked his contract. Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com reports (via Twitter) that the Saints have renegotiated the quarterback’s deal. The move frees up nearly $24MM in cap space for 2021.

NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that Brees has agreed to drop his 2021 base salary to the league minimum. New Orleans will temporarily carry a $12MM cap charge for Brees until June, a drastic decrease from his previous $36MM cap charge. Thanks to these cap machinations, the Saints will be able to keep Brees on their roster past June 1 while opening an abundance of cap space (assuming the veteran ultimately hangs up his cleats). Pelissero notes that the move also results in an $11.5MM cap charge in 2022.

The move does more than provide the Saints (who are an estimated $78MM over the cap) with some much-needed financial relief. Rather, as Fitzgerald writes, the restructuring buys Brees some time as he determines whether or not he’ll retire. Either way, the transaction is another major hint that Brees career may have come to an end. Indeed, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football seems to be hinting at the impending retirement announcement, tweeting that “one thing seems to be foreshadowing another.

Of course, the writing’s been on the wall for a while. There were whispers about a potential retirement throughout the 2020 season, and the rumor mill has naturally heated up following the Saints’ elimination from the playoffs. While GM Mickey Loomis kept the door open on a potential return, there have been several subsequent reports stating that Brees will retire.

If this is truly the end for Brees, it will wrap up a bona fide Hall of Famer career. The 42-year-old has the most yards in league history, and he’s collected the second-most touchdowns behind Tom Brady. The next time we see Brees could be in the booth, as he signed a deal with NBC Sports last April.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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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