Brees joins ‘paddle out’ to honor Seau

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was among 200 surfers who paid tribute to Junior Seau on Sunday with a "paddle out" on the beachfront outside the Oceanside, Calif., home of the former NFL star.

The longtime San Diego Chargers player died Wednesday at the age of 43 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

Brees, who played with Seau for two seasons at the Chargers, joined the other surfers in forming a large circle on their boards out in the water, chanting the linebacker’s name periodically and slapping their hands in the water for an hour.

"We were in the water where I know Junior loved to be," Brees told USA Today. "It was a beautiful day because Junior is present here with us."

Seau was an avid surfer who often was seen riding the waves in front of his home. Seau’s former teammates John Carney and Darren Bennett also attended, and there were about 1,200 onlookers.

"It was pretty unbelievable that so many people came out to pay tribute," Brees said. "Junior truly was an inspiring person and somebody whose spirit will live forever."

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.