Drew Brees Retires: Hall-of-Famer’s Career Highlights, Saints’ 2021 Outlook

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2021

Drew Brees Retires: New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees has announced his retirement from the NFL.

Drew Brees Retires

Following a 20-year Hall of Fame career, longtime Saints QB Drew Brees retired Sunday evening.

Brees will go down as one of the most decorated quarterbacks in NFL history.

To go along with his 13 Pro Bowls, Brees is also a one-time Super Bowl champion (XLIV) and Super Bowl MVP (XLIV), a two-time Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2011), the 2004 Comeback Player of the Year, one-time First-Team All-Pro (2006) and four-time Second-Team All-Pro (2008, 2009, 2011, 2018), amongst a laundry list of additional accomplishments that I could be here for days listing.

Statistically, Brees is the all-time leader in passing yards (80,358), completions (7,142), and completion percentage (67.7), while ranking second in touchdowns (571).

Importantly, Brees was as immeasurable off the field as he was on it. On top of winning the esteemed Walter Payton Man of the Year honor in 2006, Brees played a tremendous role in rebuilding the city of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, which left the city in shambles and disorder. His charitable contributions, including the Brees Dream Foundation, not only assists to improve the quality of life in cancer patients but also help families and children in need.

When it comes to wearing the side of the NFL with respect and honor, not many have done so like Brees.

Drew Brees Retires: Saints 2021 Betting & Fantasy Football Outlook. Will Taysom Hill take over as quarterback in 2021? Or will Saints re-sign Jameis Winston or add another QB?

Will Taysom Hill take over as quarterback in 2021 after Drew Brees’ retirement? Or will Saints re-sign Jameis Winston or add another QB? (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

What’s next for the Saints at quarterback?

With Brees officially retired, the Saints have a vacancy at quarterback. While the Saints have QB/ football’s MacGuyver, Taysom Hill, under contract for the foreseeable future, restructuring his current deal to create salary-cap space shortly following the Brees retirement announcement on Sunday — the Saints and Hill agreed to a four-year, $140 million deal in which all years are voidable — we really don’t have a clue on who their starting signal-caller will be at the start of the 2021 regular season.

It could be Hill starting for the Saints, but it also could be QB Jameis Winston. Although Winston is an impending free agent, the expectation around the league is that the Saints and Winston will come to terms on an agreement to keep the former No. 1 overall pick of the Buccaneers from the 2015 NFL Draft in New Orleans.

If Winston indeed re-signs with the Saints, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports that he will compete with Hill for the starting job.

For Winston, he did not have very much interest last year on the open market, which is why he signed a short deal with the Saints. As a result of another crowded quarterback market, Winston may not have a ton of interest again, making the Saints his best opportunity to earn a starting job in the NFL.

Saints 2021 NFL Betting Outlook

Saints Super Bowl 56 Winner (+2200)

Odds courtesy of PointsBet.

No Brees, no problem — or no Brees, no Super Bowl? That is the question. The Saints have been that team knocking at the door of a championship for the past three seasons, only to get bounced out of the postseason prematurely. Although the Saints managed to get to the playoffs with Brees and his regressive arm, they could not get over the hump.

In the past two seasons, Drew Brees has missed nine games. The Saints are 8-1 in those contests, going 8-0 before losing to the Eagles back in Week 14. In 2019, they went 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater and 3-1 this past season with Taysom Hill.

While we know the Saints can be successful sans Brees for short periods of time, we don’t know if Hill can get the job done for a full 16 game slate. And what if it is Jameis Winston? Winston is 28-42 in his career as a starter while only posting one winning season (9-7 back in 2016 with the Buccaneers).

Yes, the Saints normally employ one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, but because of salary cap constraints, they are expected to lose notable players in free agency while already cutting loose WR Emmanuel Sanders, G Nick Easton, TE Josh Hill, and TE Jared Cook.

Winston can put up stats. He was one of the more productive quarterbacks in the NFL, statistically, especially in his final year in Tampa Bay. Back in 2019, he threw for 5,109 yards with a 34:35 total TD/TO ratio. He had Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Breshad Perriman, Ronald Jones, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate to work with. With the Saints, he currently has Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Adam Trautman, and a bunch of guys.

Vegas needs to adjust its odds. Barring hitting on cheap free agent signings and not missing in the draft, the Saints are a lot farther away from a Championship than their (+2200) odds suggest.

Saints NFC South Winner (+480)

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-140)
  • New Orleans Saints (+200)
  • Carolina Panthers (+900)
  • Atlanta Falcons (+1000)

Odds courtesy of PointsBet

With the Buccaneers already making moves to keep their player personnel intact and the Saints cutting notables to get under the cap. Plus, the loss of Brees, look for these NFC South division-winner odds to drop for New Orleans and favor Tampa Bay that much more.

I am not touching the Saints here. However, I would grab the Buccaneers at (-140) before their odds really become unfavorable in the wake of the Brees announcement.


Anthony Cervino

Anthony Cervino is an NFL Writer and Betting Analyst for The Game Day. He is also a lifelong NFL savant and self-proclaimed league historian. In the industry, Anthony has excelled in both the fantasy football and sports betting space with fantasy his proverbial bread and butter. Anthony has made appearances on SiriusXM, amongst other publications. He is also the co-creator of the FF Faceoff (Faceoff Sports Network) and the FF Faceoff Mental Health Podathon partnered with the Hayden Hurst Foundation. Industry Clout: 15th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for both draft and in-season accuracy (2019) | 8th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for sleepers (2020) | 13th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for in-season accuracy, including 2nd at quarterback and 3rd at tight end (2021).

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