Russell Wilson may have just delivered an early retirement gift to Drew Brees.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback was selected as the NFC’s starting quarterback for the Pro Bowl on Sunday, but instead gave up the start in favor of the New Orleans Saints quarterback.
Wilson has long admired Brees, even calling him his favorite player to ever play the game.
“I think about his legacy and what he’s meant to the game,” Wilson said ahead of the Seahawks-Saints Week 3 matchup. “He’s helped open up the door for me to play as a shorter quarterback. There’s been some guys before him too that I know he would acknowledge as well. Guys like Doug Flutie as well and others. Steve Young and different players. I think about Drew and his ability to make great plays and just when he’s in the game, he’s a spectacular football player. One of the best to ever step on the field."
Wilson said he first met Brees during his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2012, his rookie year. The two have stayed in touch ever since and what began as mutual respect has since blossomed into a friendship.
“We got to know each other and throughout the years, we’ve stayed in touch,” Wilson added. “We get to see each other in the off season some and all that stuff. Our kids are close and stuff like that, so they get to play together sometimes. It’s cool. Like I said, we developed the relationship over the years and he’s arguably the best to ever do it.”
Wilson made his seventh Pro Bowl appearance on Sunday, while the 41-year-old Brees took the field for his 13th Pro Bowl appearance. It’s quite possible Sunday was the last time we will ever see Brees on the football field.
Brees has openly admitted that he’s considering retirement and is expected to make a decision at the start of free agency.
“I’m really waiting until football is totally done,” Brees told Nola.com. “Obviously being here, I’m just very much focused on my family and this opportunity to be around the guys, playing the game. Then, I’ll kind of lay low for a little bit, get away and then assess. I kind of have a process in mind. And I’ll give it a month or so.”