Breathing in the scenery of an empty Superdome long after the final whistle of New Orleans’ playoff loss to Tampa Bay, an unusually nostalgic Drew Brees did not look like a player planning to return next season.
The wide-held assumption was that 2020 would be Brees’ final NFL rodeo. Many took Brees’ contract restructure earlier this month (the Saints reduced his base salary to the veteran’s minimum $1.1 million, saving the team nearly $24 million in cap space) as another sign pointing toward the 42-year-old’s inevitable retirement. Around that time, coach Sean Payton had said the team was expecting a decision from Brees within a “week or two.”
Yet with February all but over and NFL free agency suddenly right around the corner, Brees doesn’t seem any closer to showing us his cards. Brees didn’t appear to have all that much left in the tank last season, unraveling against the Bucs (three interceptions, 38.1 quarterback rating) while showing little in the way of arm strength. In fact, New Orleans’ longest completion of the postseason came on a play Brees wasn’t even on the field for (backup Jameis Winston connected on a 56-yard flea flicker to Tre’Quan Smith).
If Brees’ NFL days are over as many suspect, the weight room would probably be the last place you’d expect to find him. Yet here Brees is, determinedly pushing a weight sled up and down a parking lot surrounded by workout tires, medicine balls and, for some reason, his former Saints teammate Chase Daniel (now of the Detroit Lions). The clip below is courtesy of Brees’ longtime trainer Todd Durkin.
Either Brees is doing a horrible job at retirement (you’d think the guy would be on a beach somewhere, soaking up rays with a cocktail in hand) or the former Super Bowl MVP isn’t as done with football as we thought he was.