The realistic challenges Drew Brees faces in possibly returning to the NFL


Drew Brees floated the idea of a return to the NFL in a tweet responding to his reported departure from NBC, but is it realistic for him to consider coming back?

A year after hanging his helmet up, Drew Brees is looking again for something to do.

The Super Bowl winner’s time as an NBC analyst did not work out as either he or the broadcaster would have hoped – parting ways just 12 months into a deal which had Brees seen as the long-term heir to Cris Collinsworth.

In a tweet responding to the story, Drew Brees casually slotted in that coming back to the NFL to play was a possibility among other things for his future.

But is this realistic?

Would it be possible for Drew Brees to announce he was coming back to the NFL?

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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Drew Brees coming back to the NFL faces big challenges

Provided he wants to, is fit and healthy, and can find a team willing to take him on a short-term deal, Drew Brees is more than capable of coming back to the NFL.

However, his willingness and fitness is one thing, finding a team could prove to be another.

The New Orleans Saints have moved on with Brees’ replacement at quarterback Jameis Winston and are building the team around him for the future.

Brees, if he were to come back is not going to be around for five years to help build a project as the starting QB.

And he’ll want to be the starting QB too. A Super Bowl winning MVP and one of the most successful QBs of the modern era is not going to come out of retirement and warm the bench through cold winter nights in Green Bay or New England.

Brees was also struggling with injury in his final season of 2020 – including his ribs and lungs.

In the year he would have spent away from the NFL, the game would have moved on, gotten faster than he remembers and he would be a target for the opposition defence – especially in those early weeks when teams are finding form and rhythm.

Inspiration from two rivals

Although it is extremely unlikely 43-year-old Brees makes a come back to the NFL, there are still two players in a similar position.

Tom Brady retired – and then unretired – in the same off-season, set to return with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and go for number eight.

Aaron Rodgers is sticking around at Lambeau Field with the Packers.

Brady will be 45 by the time the 2022/23 season begins, Rodgers 38 and Brees 43.

Brady and Rodgers are still at the very top of their game, even with the likes of the Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes next generation come to the party.

But neither Brady or Rodgers will have had a year out from playing like Brees if he were to return.

Drew Brees NFL playing days are firmly behind him now. It is unlikely he returns to the field.

If he does come back to the sport, a better fit would be in a coaching position or with another broadcaster after he and NBC ended their deal.

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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