Seth Udinski, FISM News
After 20 years in the NFL, future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Drew Brees is retiring. With the help of his four children, the 42-year old Brees made a heartfelt announcement via Instagram over the weekend. In it, he shared his passion for the New Orleans Saints, where he spent 15 seasons and won his only Super Bowl. He said,
Till the very end, I exhausted myself to give everything I had to the Saints organization, my team, and to the great city of New Orleans….I am only retiring from playing football, I am not retiring from New Orleans. This is not goodbye, rather a new beginning. Now my life’s real work begins!
Brees spent the first five seasons of his career with the San Diego Chargers before he was surprisingly replaced by a younger Philip Rivers in 2005. Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2006, only months after Hurricane Katrina had devastated the Big Easy in August of 2005. The city was in chaos, and the football team was irrelevant. The Saints had one playoff victory in their 40-year history before Brees arrived in 2006 with rookie head coach Sean Payton. Together, the two men turned the franchise and the city around.
In Brees’s first season, he led the Saints to an NFC South division title and an appearance in the NFC championship game. Three years later, the Saints upset the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV to win their first world championship. All the while, Brees worked tirelessly to help the city rebuild after the hurricane. In a town that has suffered great loss, both in sports and in reality, Brees was universally beloved. For his work in providing relief for the city of New Orleans in 2006, Brees won the NFL’s highest personal honor, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
In 15 years as the Saints’ quarterback, he led the Saints to six division titles and nine playoff wins. He also established himself as one of the greatest statistical quarterbacks in NFL history. He owns the all-time NFL record for career passing yards with 80,358 and pass completions with 7,142. He is second all-time in career touchdowns with 571 and fifth in career passer rating at 98.7.