Is Drew Brees’ time in the NFL over? The 41-year-old New Orleans Saints quarterback had a night to forget when throwing three interceptions in the Saints 30-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Add to that another turnover by a forced fumble by tight end Jared Cook and it compounded a disappointing night for Saints fans. Their team once again failing to perform in the post-season.
After the game Brees’ future was already under discussion after the quarterback posted just 134 yards passing for one touchdown alongside those trio of interceptions in the game.
Post-Game Interview And Chat With Brady
In an interview with ESPN following the loss, when asked about his future Brees replied:
“I’m gonna give myself an opportunity to think about the season, think about a lot of things, just like I did last year and make a decision.”
The Saints signal caller also added that he had ‘no regrets’ over the past season.
However, speculation mounted that the veteran may call it a day when Brees, with his family in close attendance, was spotted chatting to Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady after the game.
Many speculated that Brees was perhaps saying his goodbyes to his fellow quarterback veteran. Brady for his part, described Brees as an “incredible player and competitor.”
As Tom Brady and Drew Brees hug and say goodbye after a long talk on the field, Brady throws a touchdown pass to Brees’ son. One walks off to play in the NFC championship, the other stays to play with his kids. pic.twitter.com/wdWDro9YD4
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 18, 2021
Tough Season For Saints Quarterback
It’s not difficult to see why Brees future is being questioned. The Saints legend is 41 and has already passed for more yards than any other quarterback in the history of the game. He holds a Superbowl winners ring and he has nothing left to prove.
His place in Canton in the NFL Hall of Fame is assured.
However, this season has been tough on the quarterback. The Saints offense has fired well but Brees has suffered a number of injuries. Most notably several cracked ribs and a punctured lung in the game against the San Francisco 49ers back in November.
Brees returned to the team just four weeks after the injury which is incredible. Especially when after further tests showed that he had at least 11 broken ribs in total, as well as the pneumothorax injury.
His head coach Sean Payton refused to be drawn on his quarterback’s possible retirement simply stating that any news regarding that would be better suited to a press conference in future.
Injuries Rather Than Performance Decisive Factor?
While Brees has suffered a slight drop in his performance levels from his very best, there is no doubt that the Saints quarterback still led Payton’s team very effectively.
However, it will likely be the effect of those debilitating injuries he suffered this year and a number in the past few seasons too, that will influence his decision on whether to retire or not.
Brees is well-known as being a very family-oriented man and it may well be that from now on he will decide to not risk his health for their benefit, more so than his own.
Buccaneers Move On To Lambeau Field
While speculation of Brees’ future in New Orleans mounts, for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their expensive experiment to land a Superbowl within two years continues next week.
They then venture north to Lambeau Field to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers and the Florida-based team will be hoping that the weather warms up a little as they are 0-8 against the Packers in ‘snow games’.
This is the by far worst record any team in the NFL has against the Packers in cold weather games.
One positive for Tampa though is Brady himself, who is used to cold weather games from his lengthy time in New England. He also has won more of the games contested between himself and Rodgers at quarterback, leading the series 3-1.
That includes inflicting the heaviest defeat on Green Bay this season in a 38-10 win in Tampa.
DraftKings Sportsbook still rates the Buccaneers as the +450 outsiders to win the Superbowl this season, but that market has really tightened up following Patrick Mahomes concussion and the difference between all four Conference Championship teams is very small.
Meanwhile, Drew Brees will look on wistfully at these games but it remains to be seen whether they reignite the competitive element within him to play on, or whether he listens to his body and calls time on a Hall of Fame career.