Drew Brees’ retirement talk isn’t idle chatter

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees will return to the team for a 15th season or retire. Whatever he ultimately does, this isn’t an effort to generate attention or spark discussion. Brees, unlike plenty of other quarterbacks who from time to time have talked openly about retirement with no real intention of ever doing so, is and will be genuinely and seriously considering retirement.

As one source explained it to PFT, the Saints wants Brees back for what would essentially become a transition year, from Brees to Taysom Hill with Hill becoming the starter in 2021. Even if Brees comes back, Hill will be used much more extensively as part of the team’s offense in 2020 — especially in light of some private regret that, if Hill had been utilized just a little bit more in the wild-card loss to the Vikings, the Saints quite likely would have won the game.

Brees has said he’ll take a month or so to make a decision, and it should surprise no one if Brees decides to walk away. Whatever he does, the Saints will need a plan for keeping Hill, a restricted free agent who could generate plenty of interest if available to be signed to an offer sheet, even with a first-round pick as compensation.

Still capable of playing at a very high level, Brees’ had a career-high passer rating in 2019 of 116.3. In what would be his final regular-season home game if he retires, Brees had a night for the ages against the Colts last month, completing 29 of 30 passes and breaking the career touchdown-pass record.

72 responses to “Drew Brees’ retirement talk isn’t idle chatter

  1. “Hill had been utilized just a little bit more in the wild-card loss to the Vikings, the Saints quite likely would have won the game.”

    Way to throw in your completely speculative revisionist history. “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda” should be the new Saints mantra. They’ve been chanting it for 3 years now.

  2. “if Hill had been utilized just a little bit more in the wild-card loss to the Vikings, the Saints quite likely would have won the game.”

    Grasping at straws for the Saints fans. There is no guarantee that the Saints would “quite likely have won” if they’d done so.

    Woulda shoulda coulda

  3. Do people forget that Taysum Hill is gonna be 30 when the season starts? I see people being like, “with a few years of reps, this guy will be good!” He’ll also be retired by then.

  4. Brees will retire once Brady retires. Brees will not let Brady break his touchdowns and passing yards records. That’s the kind of player he is, greedy to the end.

  5. Taysom Hill is a gadget player who rarely throws the ball and all of a sudden he’s a target for an offer sheet? Holy Hot Takes. The guy has thrown 13 passes in three seasons completing 6 with an interception. If Brees retires they’ll resign Bridgewater to be the starter.

  6. Brees is finished.
    Any talk of him looking to retire is probably from his agent and him looking for leverage so they can rake the Aints over the coals one last time.

  7. I’ve never read so much junk about a 30 yo trick play dude before Taysom. Honestly, the only way the Saints move to this guy is if they want to tank for a 1st round QB pick the following season.

  8. ylawspick6 says:
    January 28, 2020 at 12:53 pm
    Funny how this is a bigger story than Brady, yet it’s being downplayed because of the differences in each market.
    —————

    Brees had a GREAT year. Brady had a bad year (for Brady).

  9. For everyone who thinks a mobile QB can’t become a starter at age 30:

    Steve Young became the starter in SF at age 30. Young had almost 500 rushing yards in his age-37 season.

  10. I’m not sure that “using Hill” more would’ve equated to a win in the WC game. They used him in 2-3 situations he was quite effective, but the whole game & offense cannot be all trick plays to the back-up quarterback. You use those plays intermittently to throw the Defense off. If he starts to become a regular routine in the offense, the Defense catches on and adjusts.

  11. For those of you saying Taysom is only a gadget player; you only say that because that’s how he’s been used. You think he can’t play QB simply because he’s willing to play wherever he is needed?

    Being able to play the QB position and being productive in other roles are not mutually exclusive.

  12. Hill is not going to be in demand as a free agent, especially not as a pure QB, starting QB for next year and beyond.
    Teams would have to change their entire offense to make him fit.

    Even signing him to use as the Saints did, all around the offense, is a stretch given no one else does that. They would still have to add all those elements to their already established offense.

  13. “if Hill had been utilized just a little bit more in the wild-card loss to the Vikings, the Saints quite likely would have won the game”

    “who could generate plenty of interest if available to be signed to an offer sheet, even with a first-round pick as compensation”

    Hill is a nice player who has carved out a niche for himself, but this really reads like you owe his agent a favor. 13 career passes, and 30 on opening day. The rest of the NFC would be quite excited about the prospect of Brees riding off into the sunset for Hill.

  14. “if Hill had been utilized just a little bit more in the wild-card loss to the Vikings, the Saints quite likely would have won the game.”
    ____________

    Or he could have thrown a pick 6 and they could have lost by 13 instead of 6. I know he looked good in the very few plays he was on the field but are we really going to assume he was destined to be good on every single play that day?

  15. If Brees wants another shot at his 2nd SB, then sign with the Saints for one year and $10 million or move on. It isn’t that hard of a decision, unless one wants to toss in the ‘It’s hard to stop competing bs’. It comes down to money…will he or will he not accept a low salary for one year.

  16. “This isn’t an effort to generate attention or spark discussion”, no it’s a veiled threat that if the Saints don’t give him the money he want he will retire. He wants to continue to cash those big checks. I don’t remember Drew ever giving a hometown discount on his contracts.

  17. “Taysom Hill is a gadget player who rarely throws the ball and all of a sudden he’s a target for an offer sheet? Holy Hot Takes. The guy has thrown 13 passes in three seasons completing 6 with an interception.”

    That was the same sort of reasoning around why the kid in Baltimore wouldn’t do anything.

  18. I’m curious what Hill could do with more playing time, but I’m not overly optimistic he’d be a quality full time starter at QB. Turn your gadget plays into a full time offense and defenses will obviously put all their focus into stopping it…and nobody knows how successful Hill can be as a regular passer since he throws so infrequently. Best guess is it wouldn’t be his strong suit. If I were the Saints, I wouldn’t be in a rush to push Brees out the door because I’m worried about losing Hill, who’s no spring chicken himself.

  19. The Saints coaches know a heck of a lot more than I do, but this all begs the question, “What does Teddy Bridgewater have to do to get another chance as a starting quarterback.” What was his record again this year? Oh, that’s right 5-0. The guy may never be a huge numbers quarterback but you have to admit he wins a lot of games. But instead it sounds like the Saints are ready to roll with a guy who’s closer to Tim Tebow than he is to Lamar Jackson.

  20. I am a falcons fan. I think Taysom could possibly be an amazing QB, but people seem to forget that going from the “gadget” QB to the main starter isn’t always successful. Have you forgotten about slash (kordell stewart) and Tebow? Again, not saying that he won’t be successful, but I wouldn’t just assume someone will trade a number one pick for him.

  21. livingbeyond40 says:
    January 28, 2020 at 1:28 pm
    Not hating on Brees at all, but you either want to play or you don’t. Why drag it out?
    ———-
    When you have $25 million plus per year riding on it, the decision is not an easy one.
    I’m sure he doesn’t need the money, but $25 million is a factor, regardless of what anybody says.

  22. Let’s reign in the accolades for Hill shall we. Until he plays in a game where the defensive coaches specifically game plan for him, we have no idea whether he can or can’t play as a starting QB.

  23. I get that everyone is warm and fuzzy about Hill, and rightly so, he is a Swiss army knife, does a lot of things well, and should be kept, in his current role(s), as well as backup qb, but if Brees doesn’t come back, then offer Teddy the job. he proved more than capable when he stepped in for Drew, going 5-0, during a tough stretch of games as well, he looks like he has out his injuries behind him, I hope so too, seems like a good guy too.

    My point is take a second look at Bridgewater before deciding on Hill

  24. Brees should walk away he’s the reason they aren’t progressing. He’s all done father time has caught him

  25. Whatever he does, the Saints will need a plan for keeping Hill, a restricted free agent who could generate plenty of interest if available to be signed to an offer sheet, even with a first-round pick as compensation.
    —–

    Why though? The dude has been a gadget player who is like 30-31 y/o and has thrown a grand total of something like 40 passes in the NFL.

  26. atthemurph says:
    January 28, 2020 at 1:39 pm
    “Taysom Hill is a gadget player who rarely throws the ball and all of a sudden he’s a target for an offer sheet? Holy Hot Takes. The guy has thrown 13 passes in three seasons completing 6 with an interception.”

    That was the same sort of reasoning around why the kid in Baltimore wouldn’t do anything.
    ———–
    No it isn’t. That kid won a heisman, was a first round pick (as a QB), and was a starter by the end of his rookie season. This is in no way comparable.

  27. packers291 says:
    January 28, 2020 at 1:25 pm
    For those of you saying Taysom is only a gadget player; you only say that because that’s how he’s been used. You think he can’t play QB simply because he’s willing to play wherever he is needed?

    Being able to play the QB position and being productive in other roles are not mutually exclusive.

    ———–

    Homeboy is 30 years old. If he could play QB (welL), considering how rare guys that can play QB well are, then he would be playing QB somewhere by now.

  28. packers291 says:
    January 28, 2020 at 1:23 pm
    For everyone who thinks a mobile QB can’t become a starter at age 30:

    Steve Young became the starter in SF at age 30. Young had almost 500 rushing yards in his age-37 season.
    ———————————-
    Young had started 29 games, including 10 for SF, before he was named the 49ers starter. He was also a decent starter for one of the worst-run USFL teams. Hill has started precisely 0 games. He has yet to show he’s capable of being a starter at any level beyond college. You need a better example.

  29. In what would be his final regular-season home game if he retires, Brees had a night for the ages

    And his final playoff game was a nightmare.

    I think Brees would play another year but he’s going to want $35M to do it. He’s not going to give the Saints a deal. It’s all about money and I doubt if anyone is going to give him $30-35M on a one-year deal. He’s not going to take a team to the Super Bowl all by himself. The loss this year shows that. He could be a missing piece for a team but he’s not the kind of guy to carry a team. He tried doing that in the playoff game and committed two very costly turnovers that removed any chance of winning the game.

  30. Can’t imagine that the Saints wouldn’t go into next season with Bridgewater as the starter if Brees retires. It just doesn’t make sense to bet the farm on Hill at this point. Not saying he couldn’t potentially do the job, but the smart move would be Bridgewater if they want to contend.

  31. Um…didn’t they show they could win without him this season? Retire and enjoy your kids before they get too old ( Rivers too ). You have nothing to prove to anyone. Just saying.

  32. There’s no way a team will give up a 1st round pick for a soon to be 30 year old quarterback that has more kick returns than he have passing attempts. Nor do I believe if Brees retire the Saints will be willing to turn over the keys to the franchise to a guy that didn’t even get the opportunity to start when Brees was hurt earlier in the season. This entire article is purely “terrible” speculation at its finest.

  33. Looking at these comments it’s very obvious that there are some serious sour grapes from team’s who have been beaten often by the Saints.

  34. atthemurph says:
    January 28, 2020 at 1:39 pm
    “Taysom Hill is a gadget player who rarely throws the ball and all of a sudden he’s a target for an offer sheet? Holy Hot Takes. The guy has thrown 13 passes in three seasons completing 6 with an interception.”
    That was the same sort of reasoning around why the kid in Baltimore wouldn’t do anything.

    Not even close to the same situation. LJ was a first round pick who became the starter as a rookie. Hill was an overage College player who has been a gadget piece for 3 years and has completed less than half of the few passes he’s thrown. There is zero indication he is ready to step in and be a starter in the NFL and the idea that another team would give up a 1st round pick for him is ridiculous.

  35. As odd as it seems to a degree given his level of play, I’m beginning to suspect there are people in the Saints hierarchy who are ready to completely move on from Brees in 2020, not just 2021, and that this reality is at least partially fueling his desire to exit before they’re forced to go public with such sentiments. I in no way share their long-term optimism regarding Taysom Hill as an NFL qb, but whatever, not a Saints fan so let them crash and burn. If Brees does announce his retirement in the coming weeks as this story appears to be heading, then don’t be surprised if Brees’ bafflement, disappointment and perhaps even anger in not getting to write his own ending leaks out as a major reason why. I could be completely wrong, but I just don’t believe Brees is getting ready to end his illustrious career simply because he wants to spend more time with that beautiful family of his.

  36. packers291 says: Steve Young became the starter in SF at age 30. Young had almost 500 rushing yards in his age-37 season.

    You ignore that Young started more than 40 NFL games (Tampa, SF) + started more than 20 games in USFL, BEFORE he ever became an SF “starter”.

    Young was an exceptional, Hall-of-Fame talent.

  37. Mike McCarthy had Taysom Hill on the Packers roster and waived him. Sean Payton couldn’t wait to claim him because he had a “vision” as to how best to utilize Taysom’s skill set. See how it’s helped the Saints. Not all coaches can visualize outside the box. That’s good coaching in my opinion. Oh, could that lack of “vision” be one of the reasons the Packers released McCarthy?

  38. Imagine the articles if they’d used Hill more in that playoff game and DIDN’T win. It’d be endless criticism for how they took the ball out of the hands of a Super Bowl MVP and future Hall of Famer in favor of a guy who rarely passes and is known for trick plays. Not a single writer would be saying that was a smart strategy.

  39. “Not hating on Brees at all, but you either want to play or you don’t. Why drag it out?”

    ————————————————-

    Well, because there’s another factor to consider. That’s ‘I want to play, but can my body take it?” That’s what 40 year olds have to think about in a sport where they get hit frequently.

    Somebody said something about Brady breaking Brees’ records being the reason he doesn’t retire. I think Brady sticking around to break the records is probably closer to the truth, but I do see it happening because I do think there’s a better chance Brees hangs it up. If he hadn’t have been hurt this past year, he likely would have, but missing those games kept him fresh the second half of the year and I doubt he’d like to retire with an incomplete final season on the record. Manning was obviously broken beyond repair his final year, but his mind was sound so he got to go out with a Superbowl-if hadn’t have gotten to that game, chances are he’d have at tried one more time. Brady would likely be the same way-I doubt he’d like to sit down and leave if his last performance were subpar or if he were knocked out by an injury.

    All of these all time great guys want to retire as winners, or if that’s not possible, retire on their own terms at least.

  40. Hill is a cool player and all, but I wouldn’t worry about someone be willing to give up a 1st round pick for him. And if someone is, you be happy and take it.

  41. I hear his state championship (Westlake) high school team might be looking for an OC or QB coach! Give Teddy and Taysom a chance!

  42. Wow the lack of love for Teddy in N.O. is amazing. He went 5-0 when Brees went down. What else does a guy have to do to show he is capable of quarterbacking a playoff caliber team? And I understand he is a great locker room guy. If Brees retires, N.O. will regret not keeping Teddy.

  43. I dont understand any of this… Taysom Hill literally couldnt stay on the field in just college.

    He had FOUR (4!!) Season ending injuries. He had only one season he stayed healthy.

    Not only that, taysom barely plays as a gimmick, so even if he can somehow stay healthy with more usage and a very physical style of play… when teams can focus on him as the main qb, will he really be able to keep up the production? His pass stats are horrid and even his running is only 5.8 yard avg…no lamar jackson.

    I just dont see hill ever being a successful full time qb.. why not sign bridgewater if brees retires??

  44. packers291 says:
    January 28, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    For everyone who thinks a mobile QB can’t become a starter at age 30:

    Steve Young became the starter in SF at age 30. Young had almost 500 rushing yards in his age-37 season.
    __________

    LMAO!! Hill is no Steve Young. Hill isn’t a mobile QB. He’s a gadget player that can throw a ball some. Young was a 1st round draft choice and signed a record-breaking contract. He was so good, he literally pushed Montana out the door in SF. Do you see Hill pushing Brees? Unless Brees’ golf cart breaks down and Brees says, “Hey Hill, push my dang cart!!”

  45. Drew Brees will be back next season, no doubt about that. Look for the Saints to draft a QB in the first round this year possibly Jordan Love and have him sit a year behind Drew and they will continue to use Taysom Hill as they have the past couple of years. Then Drew will walk away next year.

  46. mogogo1 says:
    January 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm
    Imagine the articles if they’d used Hill more in that playoff game and DIDN’T win. It’d be endless criticism for how they took the ball out of the hands of a Super Bowl MVP and future Hall of Famer in favor of a guy who rarely passes and is known for trick plays. Not a single writer would be saying that was a smart strategy.

    *****************************************************

    Honestly, this is very true; although Payton only needed to keep Hill on the field for another couple of plays in that Wildcard game. Anyone who was watching it closely knows the Vikings didn’t want any more of him running the ball so he wouldn’t have had to attempt another pass.

  47. inozwetrust says:
    January 28, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Wow the lack of love for Teddy in N.O. is amazing. He went 5-0 when Brees went down. What else does a guy have to do to show he is capable of quarterbacking a playoff caliber team?

    —————————————————————————–

    9 touchdowns in 5 games doesn’t really get it done in the NFL. Especially when 4 of those touchdowns came in one single game against one of the worst defenses in the league.

    The Saints defense gave up 6 points less per game with Teddy at QB, and the Saints offense averaged 7 points less per game with Teddy at QB. Pretty simple math.

    I like Teddy, but if Sean Payton thinks Taysom Hill is a better QB than Teddy Bridgewater, then chances are extremely high he’s correct. You can accuse Sean Payton of having several flaws as a head coach, but evaluating and coaching up QBs is not one of them.

  48. All this Bridgewater Talk lol. He did absolutely nothing spectacular during the 5-0 stretch, dump short passes off and the players made the plays, Defense also played lights out and gave up less during that stretch of games. Obviously folks weren’t watching the games. Also I’d like to add that ” he’s a probowler” talk , need to simply check on his stats and production during his career and decide for yourself. He manages the game very well with the proper players around him but he isn’t a full time starter. If he was then he would not have bounced around as he did. Let’s allow the actual professionals handle that huh? They know what skills these players actually have and don’t have. Bridgwater isn’t ” entitled” to have the starting job just because. Sure Drew’s days are numbered but he is allowed to take a moment to reflect on what he wants to do. He’s played a long time and done alot for the game. Go worry about you own teams

  49. Can’t see Brees walking away without a grand announcement allowing the hosts of his last few road games to shower him with accolades. If it’s his choice I mean.

  50. Wow the lack of love for Teddy in N.O. is amazing. He went 5-0 when Brees went down. What else does a guy have to do to show he is capable of quarterbacking a playoff caliber team? And I understand he is a great locker room guy. If Brees retires, N.O. will regret not keeping Teddy.

    Teddy gets nothing but love in Nola, crowd chanting TEDDY.

  51. I hope that Brees comes back for another season. It will guarantee that the Saints will be just mediocre enough to beat bad teams and not good enough to beat the elite teams. Like a gimme to the rest of the conference from the NFCS – addition by attrition

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