The former Westlake High School and current New Orleans Saints starting quarterback Drew Brees has had a Hall of Fame career. His 15 years as the leader of the San Diego Chargers and Saints offenses have seen very impressive numbers of 60,903 passing yards and an amazing 428 touchdowns. However, for the sake of the Saints front office and their fans and even the legacy of the quarterback, he should retire after this season.
As Brees goes into his 16th season he’s seen a decline in numbers in every year starting in 2011. Starting in 2011 with 5,467 and 46 in and dropping off to 4,870 and 32 last season. That’s an alarming consistent decline in passing yards, and touchdowns which should frighten Saints fans going into 2016.
If you want to take it a step further and look at the analytic side, the website Pro Football Focus has seen their ranking of the Westlake grad drop each season as well. He was as high as the best quarterback when he hit his apex. He’s now down to sixth at the end of the last campaign.
But, like everything in life, time runs out and there comes an end.
Brees enters the ’16 season at 37 years old and in the last year of a Saints contract that is currently paying him $19.75 million at a cap hit of $30 million (H/T Sportrac). This contract makes him the highest paid quarterback in the league, while putting up mediocre numbers.
There’s a question that I have for New Orleans fans: what makes you think that he’ll take a pay cut to stay with this team when contract negotiations being at the end of the season?
It isn’t surprising that the athlete mindset inside of him thinks that despite the age, and thousands of hits on his body, he can play until he’s 40. “I feel like I’ve got quite a few good years left,” Brees said. “I got one year left on the contract, but whether you have a one-year contract or a five-year contract, you’ve still got to prove it every year … even if you’re locked into a long-term deal, they can get rid of you at any time, so that’s my mindset.” (USA Today)
If the numbers continue to trend towards the mediocre of the league he’s going to finish with around 4,500 yards and between 28-30 touchdowns. Those numbers are still good for an average quarterback leading a team to seven wins and missing the playoffs, which he did last season.
I ask again, is this something Saints fans want to see as he said that he has “a few good years left”? I understand nostalgia is great for both the player and supporter of the team. But, like everything in life, time runs out and there comes an end.
After 2016, both player and team should part ways. For Brees, he would be saving himself the embarrassment that other NFL players that held on for too long have seen and ride off into the sunset and towards Canton, Ohio.