Students React to Drew Brees Retirement Annoucement

Trent Larson-Deak and Riley Bird

One of the most significant careers in National Football League history has come to an end. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced Sunday, March 14, his decision to retire after 20 seasons in the NFL on his Instagram. 

Brees’ four children, Baylen, Bowen, Callen, and Rylen, announced their father’s retirement in a touching video: “After 15 years with the Saints and 20 years in the NFL, our dad is finally gonna retire. So he can spend more time with us! Yeah!”

Brees is retiring at 42 years old, finishing as the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yards (80,358), ranking second all-time in touchdown passes (571), and having a completion percentage of 67.7 percent. He was a 13-time Pro Bowl Selection, two-time NFL Offensive Player of Year, and was the Super Bowl XLIV Most Valuable Player. Disregarding his personal accolades and record, Brees will always be remembered as a New Orleans legend. Brees helped rebuild the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and won the city’s first Super Bowl.

Brees ended his career with a disappointing 30-20 loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 National Football Conference(NFC) Divisional Round. Brees’ body and skills were beginning to decline:  he’d thrown three interceptions in his last game and had suffered 11 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a torn rotator cuff over the course of his career.

Brees initially said he believed he could play at a high level until the age of 45. Starting in 2017, however, he said he would start taking each season one year at a time, treating each like it could be his last.e would take some time after each season to reflect with his wife, Brittany, and their kids about whether he wanted to keep playing. Brees had already lined up his “next chapter” last year when he agreed to become an analyst for National Broadcast Company after his playing days were over. Brees officially confirmed those plans during his first interview with NBC’s Today show.

 “You don’t just wake up one day and say, ‘Hey, I’m gonna retire. It’s definitely a process. And listen, I’m 42 years old, I’ve had a chance to play this game for 20 years in the NFL. And I think for the last few years I’ve felt like this moment was coming. And it just made me so laser-focused on staying in the moment each and every day, enjoying the moment, and knowing that I gave it my absolute best. Brees told the Today Show.

Brees will go down as one of the most beloved players in  NFL History. According to Forbes, Brees is the second most liked player of all time right behind retired safety Troy Polamalu. “I love Drew Brees and I think this was the right time for him to retire. He worked super hard and was one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. I know so many people who admire him,” junior Michael Bowers said. “I think that Drew Brees definitely earned his retirement. He has worked so incredibly hard to get where he has and found a way to stay at the top of the game his whole career. He is a player I aspire to be on the field,” varsity football player Sam Ross (‘22) said.