Drew Brees' workout video raises questions about New Orleans Saints QB's retirement
Aging athletes excelling past their "prime" is just par for the course these days.
Many assumed future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees would retire this offseason and move on to join NBC’s broadcast booth.
But the 42-year-old New Orleans Saints star and the NFL's all-time passing yardage leader put that idea into question after a workout video went viral.
Brandon Marshall believes it is time for Brees — after what for him was a subpar season — to move on.
"Now if he’s working out with athletes like football players, then I would say, 'He’s possibly coming back.' Here’s the deal. ... It’s hard for them to move on from him. But at the end of the day, they need a fresh start. They need somebody that can come in and get the ball down the field."
Age has taken its toll on Brees, as after missing only four regular-season games from 2004 to 2018, he missed nine games because of injury the past two seasons.
The team's offensive output also took a dip, as the Saints finished 19th in passing yards (234.9) and 12th in total yards (376.4) after ranking top-10 in both in 2019.
Brees' physical limitations appeared to be on full display throughout the season, leading pundits to question his durability and arm strength.
In addition, Brees and the Saints renegotiated his contract, reducing his salary-cap charge to help the franchise navigate cap issues, which many, including NFL analyst Ian Rapoport, interpreted as a sign of his retirement.
"I have not gotten any sense at all that Drew Brees is doing anything but retiring ... my understanding of the situation is he wants to do it when he's ready to deal with it and admit to it. ... it's hard for someone to come to grips with the fact that they are retiring."
But maybe it isn't just the Saints who need a fresh start. Maybe Brees does as well. A new team in a different city could be just what the doctor ordered to revive Brees' career, according to Skip Bayless.
"Who’s to say that Brees couldn’t take the Brady path to rejuvenation? To a new challenge, new set of circumstances, change of scenery. ... He’s one of the ultimate competitors I have ever seen. If you give him a new challenge … I would take a low-risk shot, one-year salary."
Brees comes with quite the résumé, boasting the most seasons with 5,000 passing yards (5) in NFL history. Accordingly, he's also the league's all-time leader in passing yards (80,358) and completions (7,142).
Speaking of completions, Brees' accuracy didn't take a hit last season, as he posted his fifth consecutive season with a completion percentage above 70, at 70.5%, which suggests that he might have more left in the tank.
However, with Brees leading the way, New Orleans has experienced four straight unfortunate exits in the postseason, failing to capture a second Super Bowl with the quarterback who won the franchise's first (SB XLIV).
It seems to be merely a matter of time before Brees and NOLA's relationship comes to a close, but what will happen next seems to still be a mystery – for both parties.