Most people who watched Drew Brees during NBC’s broadcast of the Las Vegas Raiders–Cincinnati Bengals playoff game earlier this year aren’t surprised he’s struggling to land a top announcer spot. But Pat McAfee is an outlier, seemingly shocked by the lack of interest in the former Super Bowl MVP.
“I think people are outrageous to say this is his last opportunity,” McAfee said on his SiriusXM Radio show. “It’s like, ‘Is Drew Brees dying next year?’”
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 31, 2022
Similar to Tom Brady with Fox, Brees was hired by NBC and stashed away before he retired from the football field. But after debuting with NBC last season, the network appeared to sour on Brees as the eventual heir apparent to Cris Collinsworth in their Sunday Night Football booth, leading both sides to mutually part ways. After joining NBC with expectations of being the next Tony Romo, Brees is now in search of his next career move.
“The NFL used to stop games to celebrate him. Every network,” McAfee said, referring to all the games that were paused every time Brees set a passing record. “It is fascinating that Drew Brees hadn’t just been handed a massive set of keys to whatever car he wanted to get into.”
“Jason Witten was handed Monday Night Football without ever being on television before…he was just handed the third-biggest game of the week, second-biggest game of the week, just, ‘Nope, here ya go,’” McAfee continued. “I am vastly confused about how this has all unfolded for Drew Brees.”
Brees won’t be handed “a massive set of keys to whatever car he wanted” because his stock as a broadcaster dropped after last season. He was mediocre as a studio analyst on Football Night in America and he was even less impressive in the booth during the playoffs.
Brees’ tenure with NBC should not be categorized as the catastrophic failure that Witten was with ESPN, but his debut season as a broadcaster still had to be a humbling experience. What happens next in Brees’ TV career might depend on the type of offers the former quarterback expects to receive.
Despite the star power he commanded on the football field, Brees isn’t about to see networks line up with offers to be their lead analyst. Is Brees willing to rebuild his media career by being the fourth analyst for CBS or Fox? Because if Brees is waiting for a Brady, Romo or Aikman-like offer to come through, then his TV career might be finished.