New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees waves to his family and fans after an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in New Orleans. The Buccaneers won 30-20. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Drew Brees Has Retired

After 20 seasons in the NFL, former Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced his retirement on Sunday. Brees posted a video to Instagram of his four kids (Baylen, 12, Bowen, 10, Callen, 8, and Rylen, 6) saying he was finally retiring so he could spend more time with them.

Why Did Brees Announce Retirement on March 14th?

After his last game against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on January 17, football fans didn’t know if that was the last time the superstar quarterback would take the field. Almost two months went by without an official decision released by Brees or the Saints. Why would Brees wait until March 14 to announce retirement?

Brees waited to end his career on the day his career with the Saints began.  Fifteen years ago on March 14, 2006, Brees signed his six year, $60 million contract with the Saints that included an $8 million signing bonus. ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter said Brees’ decision to announce his retirement on the 15-year anniversary of his signing may have been a symbolic one.

A Look Back

Brees was drafted by San Diego in the second round, 32nd overall, of the 2001 NFL Draft. Needless to say, people underestimated his talent and skill then. Brees wasn’t the typical height of what an NFL quarterback looked like.

In his first five years with 59 games under his belt, Brees threw for 12,348 yards, 80 touchdowns and 53 interceptions for the Chargers. In what would be his last snap as a Charger, Brees suffered a shoulder injury after trying to recover a fumble. The injury left the Chargers skeptical of the quarterback’s ability to play for the team. Therefore, Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2006.

In 2006, his first season with the Saints, Brees set the Saints single-season passing yards record, and ended that season with 4,418 passing yards (this record has since been broken nine times by Brees) and was awarded the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Brees continued to dominate in 2008 after throwing for 5,069 yards, the first of five times he would throw over 5,000 yards. He threw 5,000+ yards again in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016. In 2008, Brees was named the Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year after throwing over 5,000 yards that season.

To top it off, Brees won Super Bowl XLIV in 2009 after defeating the Indianapolis Colts. He was the MVP of the game as well.

Overall, Brees’ NFL career stacks up a total of 80,358 passing yards, the most of all time, and 571 touchdowns, the second most of all time.

What’s Next?

While we may not see Brees on the field, he is still staying close to football. He announced Monday that he will be joining NBC Sports as a football analyst.

Although we will miss seeing this quarterback legend play, his new career is just beginning.

About Kaitlyn Wadulack

Kaitlyn Wadulack is a third-year journalism student specializing in sports and media at the University of Florida. You can reach Kaitlyn at

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