The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the New Orleans Saints 30-20 on Sunday afternoon. Not only did the loss end one team’s season, it also may have marked the end of one of the most storied careers in NFL history.
Prior to FOX’s broadcast of the Bucs-Saints game, NFL insider Jay Glazer went on the air and reported that quarterback Drew Brees would retire at the end of this season.
“Drew Brees, tonight will be the last game he plays at the Superdome,” he said. “Whatever his last game is — if they lose tonight or next week — that’ll be the last game he plays in the NFL. I really believe this is it. That is it. Drew Brees will be done. Tom Brady will continue. Drew Brees, this will be his last game in the Superdome.”
This aligned with what ESPN NFL inside Adam Schefter had reported a few weeks earlier.
“As for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, everybody expects, that after the season, Drew Brees will retire,” Schefter said.
“They thought that last year and he surprised them in March by deciding to come back. This time, he’s got a signed contract with NBC. This time, he’s another year older. This time, he’s played through the 11 fractured ribs and a punctured lung. A difficult physical season and I think most people still believe that this will be the final season for Drew Brees in New Orleans and in the NFL before he turns to the broadcasting.”
Obviously the Buccaneers won, leading to Brees being confronted with questions regarding his NFL mortality immediately after the fact.
“I’ll answer this question one time,” Brees told Glenn Guilbeau of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. “I’m going to give myself the opportunity to process the season just like I did last year.”
Saints head coach Sean Payton was then asked about his quarterback’s status.
“Oh, listen, I think that’s probably for another press conference,” he said after the game, via Mike Triplett of ESPN. “I can’t speak for Drew. Obviously, he’s been tremendous for this team and the city. I could go on and on. Let’s wait for another press conference.”
Brees is widely expected to jump right into the broadcast booth as soon as he officially retires, so even if he calls it quits, NFL fans won’t have to miss him too much.