Drew Brees Announces Retirement
Just hours before the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket was revealed on Sunday, a major announcement came from the National Football League.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees officially announced his retirement, ending speculation that lasted since the end of the playoffs.
Brees spent the last 15 years of his 20-year career with the Saints and is one of the best players to ever wear a New Orleans uniform. The official announcement came via Instagram and featured a video of the four Brees children making the announcement.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback has been looking forward to spending more time with his family, and it was widely believed that this would be his final season. Brees has had to battle through various injuries in each of the last two years, and the Saints have been preparing for his departure.
Brees threw for 80,358 passing yards during his 20-year career, which is the most in NFL history. He is also second in passing touchdowns with 571, and his 67.7% completion percentage is second-best in league history.
Brees and head coach Sean Payton arrived in New Orleans in 2006 and are credited with helping the city through the devastating hurricane that devastated the area. After reaching the NFC Championship Game that season, the Saints went on to win the Super Bowl in 2010.
At that time, it was expected that Brees and the Saints would be a perennial Super Bowl contender, but the team was never able to get back to the championship game. Despite winning four straight NFC South titles in the last four years, playoff success was hard to come by.
Brees and the Saints suffered a 30-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC divisional round this season, marking the final game of a legendary career. During his run with the Saints, Brees posted a career record of 142-86 as a starter, including a 9-8 postseason record.
The retirement of Brees leaves a huge hole on the Saints roster, but the team was expecting this move to take place.
Saints Restructure Deal With Hill
The Saints have not yet named Taysom Hill as the next starting quarterback of the franchise, but all signs point to him being in play. Hill has spent the last several seasons with New Orleans and was the starting quarterback in 2020 when Brees went down.
The Saints do not have any cap space to go out and sign a new quarterback, as the team was nearly $100 million over the salary cap to begin the offseason. When the retirement of Brees becomes official, the team will receive some of that cap hit back.
New Orleans also announced that it has signed Hill to a four-year, $140 million extension as a way to free up cap space for this season. All of those years on the extension are voidable, giving New Orleans some flexibility.
Hill was already under contract through 2021, and he went 3-1 as a starting quarterback this past season when Brees was injured.
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