NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Drew Brees went on Instagram to announce his retirement from the NFL after a 20-year Hall of Fame career. Brees played his final 15 seasons with the Saints.
In his final season, his wife, Brittany, documented in an Instagram post all the ailments Brees played through.
The lasting memory of Brees with the Saints will be his embrace with Brittany after they lost to the Bucs.
Brees finished his Saints career with one Super Bowl title. The Black and Gold beat the Colts in Super Bowl 44. It’s the Saints only title in franchise history.
“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,” said Brees in a statement thanking and praising the team’s fans. “Each day I poured my heart and 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 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!”
But, Brees finished 9-9 in the playoffs with the Saints. Including 2-4 in the last four seasons.
The team thought they shorted Brees on those titles, and wished they got him more accolades.
“He’s got one Super Bowl. That’s phenomenal to say he’s won one. But there’s been a couple of times that’s in been within our grasp, and that’s where the team has failed him. As a team we didn’t reach the heights that we wanted to. It’s going to go down this year as one of my most fun times with my teammates, most fun time being a Saint. This locker room is special. The way we grew together as a defense, our offense throughout this. For us to fall short, all of it sucks and hurts. I think about it again, Drew, what he went through last season, and midway through this season. I want more myself, I want more the team, I want more from him,” said Cam Jordan after the Saints lost to the Bucs in the playoffs.
Brees was selected with the No. 32 overall pick (Round 2, Pick 1) of the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played his first five seasons with the Chargers.
Brees finished his Saints career with a 142-86.
Brees has made over $269 milliion in career earnings over his 20 NFL seasons. He made over $256 million of that career with the Saints.
Brees was elected to the Pro Bowl 13 times. He leads the NFL in career passing yards with, 80,358. No. 9 is second in passing touchdowns, 571. He trails only Tom Brady’s, 581.
Brees was known as a leader, one-of-a-kind quarterback, and also a great recruiter for the organization.
“He’s more than what’s advertised. Drew is the reason why I came here. I mean he’s a great teammate, great leader, great man in the community, great husband, great father. An example for everyone to emulate,” said current Saint, Demario Davis.
Brees was also known to be a master tactician not only games, but in practice also. Former Saint, Benjamin Watson, recounted Brees’ attention detail before a workout.
“He was going through every single play that he had in that game plan, and going through his progressions,” says Watson. “So he was going to number one, point to number two, go to number three, swing back to number four, the back coming out of the backfield. And then he’d shake it off like he does and go back to the center of the field and do it all over again. He did that for at least an hour.”
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