In the 101-year history of the NFL, there aren’t a lot of starting quarterbacks who have been successful after turning 40. For the 2020 season, there are two quarterbacks in the NFL who will be trying to beat back Father Time: Drew Brees and Tom Brady. 

Although Brady might end up playing forever, there’s been a lot of retirement speculation about Brees, who turned 41 in January. Not many quarterbacks know what it’s like to play at that age, but one who definitely does know is Brett Favre. The Hall of Fame quarterback retired following the 2010 season at the age of 41. 

Although it’s not yet clear what Brees is going to do after this season, Favre has been watching him, and he thinks the Saints quarterback is going to retire.  

“I do,” Favre said recently, when asked by Sirius XM NFL radio if he thought Brees would end up retiring after the 2020 season, via the Canal Street Chronicles.  

Brees and the Saints have been knocked out of the playoffs in dramatic fashion in each of the past three eyars, and according to Favre, that’s something that begins to wear on you. 

“Stranger things have happened, but I do get the sense that, you know, they’ve come so close the last few years,” Favre said. “And in some respects that’s good, in others that’s bad. Say that happens again this year, and maybe that’s the reason he’s come back the last couple years. Like we’re so close, we’re really a play or two away. And really, they could have easily run the table the last two years. I thought they were that good, but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. And Drew’s played extremely well the last couple years. Maybe the best he’s played, so you go, ‘Why wouldn’t you come back?’ But I’m telling you, getting so close and not pulling it out takes a serious toll on you.”

Favre came close in 2007 with the Packers before falling in the NFC title game to the Giants. Two years later, Favre returned to the NFC title game as the 40-year-old quarterback of the Vikings, but once again, he came up one game short of getting to the Super Bowl. Coincidentally, the team that knocked out Minnesota in 2009 was Brees’ Saints, who would go on to win the Super Bowl. 

Although Brees hasn’t yet revealed his future plans, he does seem to be thinking the same way as Favre. During an interview this week, the Saints quarterback said he’s playing on “borrowed time.”

“Hey, at this time, man, I’m on borrowed time,” the 41-year-old quarterback said, via ESPN. “I’ve got nothing to lose. So I’m turning it loose and letting the chips fall where they may.”

The Saints quarterback also had something to say about those three painful playoff losses over the past three years (the Minneapolis Miracle in 2017, the pass interference no-call in 2018 and the OT loss to the Vikings in 2019).

“I know that everything happens for a reason, and in most cases, failure is your best teacher,” Brees said. “That’s the approach I’ve always taken, and that’s the approach this team has taken. And I feel like we’ve found a way to garner strength from each one of these moments over these last few years. And it’s only made us better.”

Brees knows he can’t play forever, so it won’t be surprising if the retirement speculation kicks into overdrive come December, especially based on the way the quarterback has been talking. 

“Father Time’s gonna get us at some point, but we’re trying to beat him out right now,” Brees said. 

Not only does Favre think Brees is going to call it quits after the 2020 season, but Saints coach Sean Payton seemed to hint at that earlier this year. During a TV interview, Payton was asked what role he envisioned Taysom Hill playing in 2020, and that’s when the Saints coach revealed that 2020 would likely be Brees’ “final season.”

Although Payton slightly backtracked after the interview, it won’t be completely shocking if Brees does decide to retire. Not only is he just months away from turning 42, but he already has a post-career job lined up. Back in April, it was reported that Brees would be making a move to NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” booth once he decides to hang up his cleats for good. 


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