“Til the very end I exhausted myself to give everything to the Saints organization, my team and the great City of New Orleans,” Brees wrote on Instagram. “We shared some amazing moments together, many of which are emblazoned in our hearts and minds and will forever be a part of us.”
“I am only retiring from football. I am not retiring from New Orleans,” he added. “This is not goodbye.”
Where you specifically have him on your personal QB rankings is up to you, but unless you’re trolling, it’s got to be somewhere near the top. Brees, who was taken out of Purdue by the Chargers in the second round of the 2001 Draft (damn), currently sits at the top spot in career passing yards in the NFL with 80,358. Tom Brady will likely pass him next year, but he’ll still sit in the two-spot for a long while.
He’s also first all-time in completions (7,142) and completion percentage (67.7), and second in touchdown passes (571). In February 2010 he beat the Colts to win the Super Bowl in a game where he was also named the MVP. Surprisingly, that held up as his only NFL title. It also doubles as the only Super Bowl win in Saints history. Twice he was named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year (2008 and 2011). He also made 13 Pro-Bowls, led the NFL in passing yards seven times, and (on that note) set the record for most seasons (five) with more than 5,000 passing yards.
Brees’ final game ended up being a loss to the Buccaneers in the Divisional Playoff in a game where he, well, looked like his age (42). He threw three picks in that contest along with just 134 yards. While retirement speculation follows pretty much every pro athlete over the age of, say, 35, the writing seemed to be on the wall that Brees’ career was nearing a conclusion even before the start of the 2020 season.
Next stop, Canton.