Drew Brees finally answered the question of whether or not he’s retiring from the NFL.
In case you missed it amid college basketball conference championship games and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Selection on Sunday, the New Orleans Saints quarterback announced that the 2020-21 NFL season was his last.
Brees shared the news did so with an endearing video involving his four children posted to Instagram:
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As expected — and has been widely reported for the past year — Brees will move into broadcasting with NBC now that his professional football career has ended. He appeared on the TODAY show Monday morning to talk about his next move.
“I am going to be working for NBC,” Brees told Hoda Kotb. “I’m part of the team now, a new team.
“I’m excited about that journey, I’m excited to stay very closely connected with the game of football. It’s been such an important part of my life and I get to continue to talk about it, to show a passion for it, and bring my kids along for the ride there as well and let them be a part of those special moments.”
Brees went on to hint at some philanthropic endeavors with the city of New Orleans and throughout the country that have him excited. Announcements on those efforts will be forthcoming.
In his “Football Monday in America” column for Pro Football Talk, Peter King provided the official details on what had been reported a year ago. Brees will be on NBC’s broadcast team for Notre Dame football telecasts, paired with play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico. He’ll also join the studio crew for the network’s “Football Night in America” Sunday night show.
Additionally, Brees is expected to be part of NBC’s Olympics and Kentucky Derby coverage.
Cris Collinsworth will stay in the “Sunday Night Football” booth for many more years, sources say. There was speculation that NBC’s pursuit of Drew Brees could result in changes, but I'm told Collinsworth will stay. SBJ Newsletter: https://t.co/MAcnjHXAfM
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) April 13, 2020
Eventually, the belief is that Brees will succeed Cris Collinsworth as the analyst on Sunday Night Football, providing that broadcast with a marquee name to rival Tony Romo at CBS.
But Collinsworth will be part of the SNF crew for years to come, according to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand. That implies that he’ll be NBC’s top NFL game analyst even after Al Michaels retires from the booth, whenever that may be. (Michaels could stay on longer than expected if he continues to lessen his workload by taking some weeks off during the season, as he did during the past 2020-21 campaign.)
So if taking over for Collinsworth is the long-term plan for Brees, he’ll apparently have plenty of time to refine his broadcasting game on Notre Dame and Football Night in America telecasts.
Brees was expected to retire following this past NFL season with a broadcast role at NBC waiting for him. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported in January that the quarterback was preparing to call it a career, while Fox’s Jay Glazer told viewers before this season’s NFC Championship game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that Brees was playing his final game in the Superdome, the Saints’ home stadium.