After 20-years of playing in the NFL, former quarterback Drew Brees will be transitioning from playing on the field, to the sports media profession in the booth. On Monday, March 15, 2021, Brees announced that he will leave football behind. At least for his playing career.

The Announcement

The 42-year-old quarterback announced he will be joining NBC Sports as a football analyst. He will also be a studio analyst for, “Football Night in America” and a game analyst for NBC Sports coverage of Notre Dame Football. He’ll also will be part of NBC’s Super Bowl LVI team in 2022, and he’ll work other prominent non-football events like the upcoming Olympics.

NBC Sports Group chairman Pete Bevacqua, said they’re excited to welcome Brees and famous positivity to their crew. “We’re excited to have Drew join our team. We know that Drew will apply the same work ethic and continuously positive attitude to everything he touches at NBC Sports and we know, as his new teammates, he’ll make us better.”

It was totally expected that Brees would announce one day and become a broadcaster for a National TV powerhouse like NBC. Brees is very familiar with the company as he spent all of his career playing on Sunday Night Football on NBC. Even as a broadcaster, he’ll still be thinking, “I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday Night.”

What Drew’s Kids had to Say

Even Brees’ kids weighed in on his retirement:  Baylen (12), Bowen (10), Callen (8), and Rylen (6); They were all cozy sitting on the couch wearing their dad’s #9 Saints jerseys and were quoted as saying “After 15 years on the Saints and 20 years in the NFL…, Our Dad is finally going to retire!” They then threw their little hands up in the air and shouted, “So he can spend more time with us!” Then they all cheered “YAY!” Brees shows what kind and good kids he’s raised and now they will get to see their father provide for them, but in a different position.

Reactions from around the NFL

During his playing career, Brees made a lot of friends around the league. He was very personable and could talk to anyone. Here are what some of Drew’s friends had to say about his retirement:

Brees’ Background

Brees was born on Jan. 15, 1979 in Dallas, Texas to parents Eugene Wilson “Chip” Brees II, a prominent trial lawyer, and Mina Ruth (nee Akins; died 2009), an attorney. He has a younger brother, Reid (born 1981). When Brees was seven, his parents divorced and shared custody of the boys, who split their time between both parent’s homes. Today, he admits that it was a very rough and complicated life after the divorce, but Brees and his younger brother Reid, supported each other and become very close.  They have a younger half-sister Audrey from their father’s remarriage to Amy Hightower, daughter of the late U.S. Representative (D-TX) Jack English Hightower.

After moving to the Austin area, Brees did not play tackle football until high school and was on the flag football team at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, where his teammate included actor Ben McKenzie. In high school, he was a varsity letterman in baseball, basketball, and football, and was considering playing college basketball instead of football.

In 1996, he was selected as Texas High School 5A Most Valuable Offensive Player and led the Austin Westlake High School football team to a 16-0 record and a state championship. As a high school football player, Brees completed 314 of 490 passes (64.1 percent) for 5,461 yards with 50 touchdowns, including in his senior seasons, 211 of 333 passes (63.4 percent) for 3,528 yards with 31 touchdowns. When Brees started for two-seasons, Westlake went 28-0-1 and beat a Dominic Rhodes-led Abilene Cooper 55-15 in the 1996 title game. He was named honorable mention in the state high school all-star football team and the USA Today ALL-USA high school football team alongside former San Diego Chargers teammate and long-time friend LaDainian Tomlinson.

College Offers

Brees received offers from only two colleges, Purdue and Kentucky.  He choose Purdue for its highly rated academics. He graduated in 2001 with a degree in industrial management.

After an uneventful freshman season, Brees was offered his first start during his sophomore year by his head coach.  He was named the offensive captain during his junior and senior year. He had the option to make himself  available for the 2000 NFL draft, but chose to return for his senior year to finish his studies.

In 2000, he led the Boilermakers to heart stopping last-minute upsets, and to face their first Big Ten championship.  The Ohio State game was played on ESPN Classic and is highly remembered for Brees’ four-interceptions and 64-yard touchdown pass to Seth Morales with 1:55 remaining to capture the victory 31-27 with a post-game field rush!  And of course we can’t forget our favorite commentator yelling, “Holy Toledo!”. Yes, of course I am referring to, Brent Musburger. Due to head-to-head wins over Michigan and Northwestern, Purdue was headed to the 2001 Rose Bowl, their 1st since 1967, where they lost to the Washington Huskies by ten-points.

Brees was a finalist for the ‘Davey O’Brien Award’ as the nation’s best quarterback in 1999. He won the ‘Maxwell Award’ as the nation’s outstanding player of 2000, and the ‘NCAA’S Today’s Top VIII Award’ as a member of the Class of 2001. Brees was also fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1999 and third in 2000. 

NFL Career

In the 2001 NFL Draft, Brees was the second-quarterback taken by the San Diego Chargers (32) second behind Michael Vick (1). San Diego pulled off a blockbuster trade by dealing its #1 pick to the Atlanta Falcons for the #5 selection to draft current Hall-Of-Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

In his rookie season, Brees was the backup quarterback to Doug Flutie, who started all 16-games that season. Brees played in his first professional game on November 4, 2001 against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week-8.  He finished with 221 passing yards and his first career passing touchdown was a 20 yd-pass to Freddie Jones.

Brees was the starter in 2004 and led the Chargers to a 12-4 record. They earned a berth in the wildcard playoff game. But, sadly, San Diego lost to the New York Jets 20-17. The Chargers were building toward their main goal, but the future of Brees was in danger, due to rookie-quarterback Phillip Rivers.

New Orleans Saints

After the 2005 NFL Season was over, the Chargers headed into the offseason wondering if Brees would still be the guy at quarterback to bring them to the Super Bowl. Brees was offered a 5-year contract extension by the Chargers worth $50 million. Brees decided not to take their offer and to test the free-agent waters. After choosing not to play for the Miami Dolphins, Brees decided to join the New Orleans Saints who had just hired Sean Payton as their new head coach.

Brees had a great first-year with the New Orleans Saints in 2006. He helped the team rebound from a 3-13 season in 2005 to 13-3 in 2006. On Jan. 28. 2007, the Saints lost in the NFC Championship game to the Chicago Bears or as the Chicago residents say, “Da Bears”.

Super Bowl 44

Brees won his first Super Bowl defeating Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 31-17 in Miami, Florida. Brees was named the ‘MVP’ of the game and was seen holding his kids up in the air. These are the same kids that have grown up watching their daddy make them proud.

Retirement

Now that Brees is retired, Saint fans will always remember Brees’ Super Bowl win that made him a long-stay with the New Orleans Saints. His last season did not result in a Super Bowl, but he has won a fanbase over in New Orleans. Now the fans are excited with a new quarterback taking the reins in Jameis Winston.

The leader might be gone, but let me ask you something: “Who dat, dat, Who dat say they gonna beat dem Saints? We are sure gonna miss hearing Drew and the team yelling that out every Sunday!

But seriously, I do want to wish Drew good luck in his Broadcasting career and anything else that he chooses to do in the future!

 

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33 Comments

  • Dominic Scafetta, March 18, 2021 @ 12:07 pm

    Nice.

  • Colleen, March 18, 2021 @ 12:11 pm

    Good for him! What a great career! Ice article!!

  • Kevin M Malloy, March 18, 2021 @ 1:12 pm

    Nice article , He is going to busy now!!

  • Robyn, March 18, 2021 @ 1:48 pm

    What a career! Great read!

  • Brian Kearns, March 18, 2021 @ 2:03 pm

    wow! What a long, storied career Drew had. Excellent article

  • Jeff Scafetta, March 18, 2021 @ 2:51 pm

    Thanks for the article. I learned fom it

  • Eric, March 18, 2021 @ 2:58 pm

    I was wondering what Brees was going to do at this point in his career. Good article Jamie! Very informative as usual.

  • Noah Shaffer, March 18, 2021 @ 3:34 pm

    Excellent article. A real legend.

  • Matthew Askren, March 18, 2021 @ 3:59 pm

    A legend indeed.

  • Steve, March 18, 2021 @ 8:39 pm

    What an incredible career and even more rewarding legacy he’s left. Brees the game at a time when the culture of the NFL was sliding. I’m thankful he left with his chin held high. He’s a great warrior. Great article

  • Chris, March 19, 2021 @ 4:52 am

    Good read

  • Joe, March 19, 2021 @ 6:45 am

    I wonder if Drew Brees will speak his mind still after he was slapped down by the cancel culture support of America

  • Sarah, March 19, 2021 @ 7:49 am

    OMG! I hadn’t heard that he’s moving on! Great player.. He’ll be missed on the field! So exciting that he gets to stick with football. Great Article Jamie!

  • Kimberly Bay, March 19, 2021 @ 9:56 am

    Great article. Good information

  • Tracy, March 19, 2021 @ 10:41 am

    Great article…..keep up the good work ….

  • Joanne Hume-Nigro, March 19, 2021 @ 12:02 pm

    An easy and informative read combining with a good blend of stats and a personal touch. I feel like I know Drew better now.

  • Jim Beidler, March 19, 2021 @ 12:57 pm

    Another good article…good read!

  • Jv, March 20, 2021 @ 6:09 am

    What a run and the experiences Drew has earned and enjoyed. 1979 seems like so long ago, but actually gone with the blink of an eye. What this man, family, friends, colleagues and fans have witnessed is nothing short of a pure professional in life, sport and conviction. To a fan a great mentor and to his family a great parent and spouse. More to life than just the game!! Very awesome and enriching article. Makes the soul feel great!!

  • Katie, March 20, 2021 @ 6:15 am

    Nice article!

  • Joe, March 20, 2021 @ 6:17 am

    Well done!

  • Mike Shone, March 20, 2021 @ 8:58 am

    A nice article on Drew Brees and his impact on the game. It will be interesting to see what he brings to the booth.
    Well done!

  • Sally Millick, March 20, 2021 @ 9:27 am

    Great summary of a great career. Cheers to him!

  • Jenna, March 20, 2021 @ 10:58 am

    Amazing read !

  • Mark, March 20, 2021 @ 12:27 pm

    Awesome article! Well written and very informative.

  • Kyle Dechau, March 20, 2021 @ 1:36 pm

    Great player and even better person.

  • Kimberly Puglia, March 21, 2021 @ 10:04 am

    Congrats to Drew, but more importantly congratulations to you Jamie. The article you wrote is amazing. So proud of you! ❤️

  • Doug, March 21, 2021 @ 12:22 pm

    Huge fan of Brees.

  • Phyllis Wozniak, March 21, 2021 @ 3:31 pm

    Great writing Jamie Malloy. Your keeping me interested in the game. Well done!

  • Phyllis Wozniak, March 21, 2021 @ 3:32 pm

    Enjoyed the read written by Jamie Malloy. Talented young writer.

  • Martin Forero, March 21, 2021 @ 5:01 pm

    It is hard to believe that the 20 NFL seasons Drew Brees played went by in a flash. Thanks for taking us down memory lane Celeb Writer and Jaime Malloy. Great article.

  • Tony Street, March 21, 2021 @ 6:31 pm

    In addition to Brees’ great stats on the field, he’s racking up point for his fans and community off the field. Drew and his wife Brittany founded snd run the Brees Dream Foundation – a charitable organization that has so far raised over 35 million dollars in the fight against cancer, Hurricane Katrina rebuilding project, support of Habitat for Humanity, and other noble philanthropic causes.

  • Susan Becker, March 22, 2021 @ 6:37 am

    Very well written article! Although he is retired, he will be quite busy. I wish him best wishes in broadcasting.

  • Greg, March 22, 2021 @ 8:15 pm

    Great article!

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