Brian Allee-Walsh

It’s hard to see Saints QB Drew Brees considering retirement now. Here’s why.

It’s safe to say New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will be back for his 19th NFL season. No way he would retire after what happened in the NFC Championship game, especially with his last pass of the season ultimately leading to the Los Angeles Rams’ winning field goal in overtime.

I must admit the thought of No. 9 retiring at age 40 crossed my mind if the Saints had gone on to win the NFC and Super Bowl LIII.

It didn’t happen so here we are facing another important offseason in Who Dat-ville with Brees still the focal point of a franchise holding Super Bowl aspirations.

Brees has one year remaining on his contract. As of today, he is scheduled to count $33.5 million against the salary cap, with $11.05 million earmarked for base salary and the remaining $22.45 million coming in the form of signing and roster bonuses.

The possibility always exists that Brees would agree to restructure his contract with the intention of freeing up cap space. He’s done it before and I suspect would do it again to upgrade the roster all in the name of winning a second Lombardi Trophy and playing the game he loves.

Simply, he loves to compete. He also loves to win which is why playing into his mid-40s is not out of the realm of possibility.

I’ve often wondered how Brees would step aside. Would he announce his plans before his final season, say in training camp and setting up a farewell tour of sorts? Would it come at the conclusion of a season, in the wake of winning a league, conference or division championship? I don’t see it happening during a season because of the outside noise it would certainly create.

I knock on wood so as not to jinx him when I suggest retirement could come following a serious injury.

I know one thing — whenever that day comes I hope he can do it on his terms, while still wearing the Black and Gold, when the time is right for him and his family.

While the news of his retirement might catch media and Who Dat Nation by surprise, make no mistake he would give owner Gayle Benson, GM Mickey Loomis, coach Sean Payton and his teammates plenty of advance notice.

As I stated earlier, that day is not now, not after the now infamous “No Call.’‘

Play on, Drew Brees. You deserve better.

Brian Allee-Walsh, a longtime Saints reporter based in New Orleans, can be reached at sports@sunherald.com.
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