SAYONARA #9 – MARCH 15
By Leo Haggerty

DREW BREES RETIRES

Late today, Saints quarterback Drew Brees made the announcement that he is retiring from the National Football League.  The face of the franchise in The Big Easy hung up his cleats after an illustrious 20 year career with the first five with the San Diego Chargers and the final 15 in New Orleans.

A bunch of injured ribs during the 2020 campaign may have influenced his decision.  I believe that the 420 sacks that he endured as well as countless other hits finally took their tool on the 42 year old future 1st ballot Hall of Famer.

Yes, I know people throw that accolade around way too many times as it applies to players.  It’s the Hall of Fame and not the Hall of the Really Good and I get that.  Allow me to enlighten you with just the Purdue University’s star’s NFL record statistics and you’ll see why he deserves to be in Canton.

So, let’s do the math, shall we?  Most career completions with 7,142 and that averages out to 357 a year.  Most single season completions in 2016 with 471.  Most career passing yards with 80,358 and, to put that in perspective, that’s just over three complete trips circumnavigating the planet at the Equator.  Career completion percentage at 67.7%.  Single season completion percentage at 74.4% and that almost three out of every four attempts being caught.  54 straight games with a touchdown pass and he’s tied with seven other QBs having thrown for seven touchdowns in a contest.

Throw in the fact that he’s played in every tilt for 12 years and has a 172-114 record with 20 of those victories against the Buccaneers which is the most against any one team.  Now, throw in a Super Bowl championship in 2009, where he was the MVP, plus his off the field efforts to help rebuild the city of New Orleans after the devastating flood following Hurricane Katrina.  Now you see why, in my humble opinion, Brees is a LEO’S LOCK for enshrinement in five years.

So, Brees rides off into the sunset.  Sadly, Father Time is undefeated and the Austin, Texas native just couldn’t perform at the level he demanded of himself.  Still, an 80% Drew Bress was pretty damn good and one at 100% from a health standpoint was outstanding.  Just ask any of the 31 teams that had to go against the 6 foot (and that may be a stretch) signal caller.

From a scout perspective, it was a pleasure to observe a true tactician just carve up a defense and, from that point of view, I’ll miss his expertise.  From the viewpoint of a fan, he always gave them their money’s worth.

Best of luck in the future, #9.  As Tom Hanks said in Saving Private Ryan, “Earn it” and you certainly did just that.