Drew Brees Retires After an Incredible Career

Terrence Allen, Sports Editor

The amazing career of Drew Brees wrapped up
The average National Football League career only lasts about two and a half years. It is an amazing accomplishment for Drew Brees to have played for 20 years. He did not just play for 20 years, but he was at an elite level for most of those years.
Brees was drafted with the first pick of the second round in 2001 out of Purdue University by the San Diego Chargers. The first few years of his career were up and down. He did not start a game in his rookie year but started all 16 games the following year.
After a couple of years of up and down play, the Chargers traded for Phillip Rivers during the 2004 NFL Draft. This move put Brees’ future in question with the team. After being franchise tagged by the Chargers in 2005, Brees tore his labrum in the last game of the season.
He was set to be a free agent after this season and the Chargers didn’t offer him the contract he was seeking. Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 offseason and this was the start of something great.
The city of New Orleans had just undergone the disaster of Hurricane Katrina the year before and was looking to rebuild their city along with the team. The Saints were unable to play in their stadium the year before due to the damage of Katrina and struggled as a team finishing 3-13.
The Saints were in a position to take a chance on someone and Brees needed someone to take a chance on him. This chance paid off as the Saints went 10-6 and won the NFC South in Brees’ first season with the team. He also broke the franchise record for passing yards in a season with 4,418 yards. He helped lead the Saints to the team’s first NFC Championship Game.
Following such a historic year, the team had a lackluster season finishing 7-9. Even in a bad season, Brees managed to make more history and broke the NFL record for completions in a season with 440.
In his 2008 campaign, Brees became only the second player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a season finishing with 5,069, only 15 yards shy of Dan Marino’s record. The Saints’ gamble on Brees didn’t result in consistent winning just yet, but it did result in a historic first three seasons.
2009 would be the season that everything paid off for both Brees and the Saints. Brees led the team to win its first 13 games of the season and the team finished 13-3. For the fourth season in a row, he etched his name in the record books by having the highest completion percentage in NFL history at 70.62 that season.
The Saints made the Super Bowl for the first time and he led them to victory over that season’s MVP Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. He even tied an NFL record for completions in a Super Bowl and was named the game’s MVP. While the team wasn’t able to win another Super Bowl, Brees continued to have individual success and compile winning seasons.
In 2011 Brees set the NFL record for passing yards in a season with 5,476 and set a franchise record for touchdowns with 46. He went on to have 5,000 yards the next two seasons as well giving him three in a row and four in his entire career. Brees went on to have one more 5,000-yard season making him the only player in NFL history to accomplish this feat five times in a career.
Brees ended his accomplished career with the most career passing yards, completions, and completion percentage as well as being a 13 time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl Champion. Brees allowed his children to announce his retirement after 20 seasons. He leaves behind a great legacy, a great story, and is sure to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he is eligible.