Will he or won’t he? This has now become the question swirling about the NFL stratosphere as it relates to future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, who hinted at potentially coming out of retirement in 2022. The “currently undecided” broadcaster is apparently battling his own competitive spirit nowadays and “may play football again,” an admission that immediately made headlines around the league. What Brees didn’t reveal, however, is that his body may not be on board with his mind.
The 43-year-old recently underwent surgery on his left shoulder (as in two weeks ago), per ESPN, and wouldn’t be physically able to take the field for any team until as late as October. This would mean he’d also be unable to practice until midseason, and that’s a lot to ask of Brees, who was clearly no longer [physically] in prime form in his final season — throwing for only 2,942 yards in 2020 en route to announcing his retirement thereafter.
This isn’t to say it’s impossible or that it may not happen, considering it’s not out of the norm for teams desperately in need of a QB later in a season — particularly if that need is injury-driven — to reach out to a retired legend for assistance. To that point, Brees himself was a recipient of such a call in 2021, when former head coach Sean Payton reached out to him personally in a failed attempt at wooing him away from Hawaii and back to New Orleans.
Months after declining that offer, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is still battling with the decision, and retirement in general. Not many are taking Brees seriously, however, and that includes newly-promoted head coach Dennis Allen.
“My wife’s the one that told me about it because I don’t follow social media,” Allen said, via WDSU. “So I thought, ‘Well that’s interesting. That’ll bring up some questions tomorrow at the golf tournament.’ Yeah but certainly, I think it was a comment made in jest and we certainly haven’t had any conversations in that regard.”
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Maybe Brees is serious, or maybe he’s completely kidding, or maybe he’s curious to see who’d be interested in making him an offer he couldn’t refuse (spoiler: it’s likely all of the above). But having to now rehab from what sounds like major shoulder surgery, and in his 40s with a one-year hiatus from football mixed in, teams would have to weigh if the legend of Brees is enough to roll the dice on the 2022 reality of Brees.
As it stands, the latter is presumably far removed from the former.