Drew Brees’ Retirement


Cooper Ams, Co-Editor


This past Sunday, legendary quarterback Drew Brees announced that he was retiring from the NFL after playing 20 seasons. Brees announced his retirement on Instagram by posting a video of his four children (Rylen, Bowen, Callen, and Baylen), saying that Brees would be retiring from football so that “he can spend more time with [them].” 


Brees started his football career at Purdue University, where he began to make a name for himself in 1998, his sophomore season, when he passed for nearly 4,000 yards. The following year, Brees continued to turn heads as he recorded another impressive year, passing for roughly 3,900 yards. Brees capped off his collegiate career in 2000 with a spectacular final year, where he passed for almost 3,700 yards. He was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in both 1998 and 2000, and he won the Maxwell Award in 2000, which is awarded annually to the best all-around player in the United States. Brees completed his tenure at Purdue and entered the 2001 NFL Draft, where he was drafted 32nd overall by the San Diego Chargers in the second round. 


On the Chargers, Brees faced skepticism, as people believed his six-foot frame was too small to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. Brees went on to prove his critics wrong, carrying the Chargers to back to back winning seasons in 2004 and 2005. The future looked bright for Brees until he suffered a 360 degree labrum tear and rotator cuff damage. This caused some to think that his career was over, for the Chargers at least. This was Brees’ final game in a Charger uniform. Brees then went to New Orleans to play for the Saints, which would be a complete turning point in his career and a monumental event in New Orleans Saints’ history. 


Brees joined the Saints in 2006, a franchise that many considered to be one of the worst in the NFL at the time. Brees came in at the same time as Sean Payton, the new coach that was hired by the Saints. After this move, the rest was history. Brees led the Saints to a 10-6 record in his first year, even leading the team to the NFC Championship Game, where they ultimately fell short and lost to the Chicago Bears. Brees was honored with NFL First-Team honors and continued to lead New Orleans to successful seasons over the next three years. It wasn’t until 2010 that Brees was able to accomplish the ultimate goal of any NFL player: winning a Super Bowl. He led the Saints to an 11-5 regular season, and then on a playoff run capped off by a Super Bowl victory over Peyton Manning and the Colts. This victory established Brees as a top quarterback in the league and was an addition to his impressive resume. Continuing to be a top quarterback for the next eight years, Brees was beginning to become one of the greatest to ever do it. Brees finished his career with many accolades: record for the most career passing yards with 80,358; most career completions with 7,142; best career completion percentage with at least 2,000 attempts at 67.7%; and the most seasons with 5,000 or more passing yards at 5. Brees finished his career with a plethora of awards, but his most noticeable accomplishments were the Super Bowl MVP in 2010 and the Associated Press’ Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2012. 


In addition to being an amazing player on the field, Drew has proved himself to be an amazing citizen in his community. After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Brees vowed to give 10,000 meals to those affected by the disaster and said that he would provide for these people “for as long as it takes.” Brees even donated $200,000 to the Long Beach community after Hurricane Sandy devastated it in 2012.


While Brees says that this is his official retirement from football, he is not retiring from helping the people of New Orleans and will continue to contribute to the community in any way possible. It was truly an honor to watch Drew play, and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football.