The New Orleans Saints officially have a hole at quarterback, as longtime veteran Drew Brees finally announced his long-rumored retirement on Sunday afternoon.
The future Hall of Famer took to Instagram to make the announcement. Or rather, to let his kids make the announcement.
"After 20 years as a player in the NFL and 15 years as a Saint, it is time I retire from the game of football," Brees' caption reads. "Each day, I poured my heart & soul into being your Quarterback. Til the very end, I exhausted myself to give everything I had to the Saints organization, my team, and the great city of New Orleans. We shared some amazing moments together, many of which are emblazoned in our hearts and minds and will forever be a part of us. You have molded me, strengthened me, inspired me, and given me a lifetime of memories. My goal for the last 15 years was striving to give to you everything you had given to me and more. I am only retiring from playing football, I am not retiring from New Orleans. This is not goodbye, rather a new beginning. Now my real life‘s work begins!"
At 41 years old in 2020, Brees was one of the oldest quarterbacks in football. He still managed to complete passes at a high rate, but the arm strength was clearly not what it used to be.
Brees finishes his career with some of the most impressive stats in NFL history. He went 172-114 despite playing several years with porous defenses and he passed for 80,358 yards (most in NFL history) and 571 touchdowns (second-most). He also finishes with a 98.7 passer rating, the fifth-highest of all-time.
Given those numbers and his Super Bowl ring, Brees has a strong case as one of the five best quarterbacks in the history of the sport. He is a legend and a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer, and now he gets to go out on his own terms.
Brees is reportedly going to be transitioning into broadcasting as he enters the next phase of his career.