Drew Brees may be 35 years old, but in his mind the Saints has another good 10 years left in him and wants to play until he’s 45.
Brees has gotten better with age like a fine wine and based on the success his contemporaries, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Favre enjoyed in their late-30s, the Super Bowl champion views playing another decade as a realistic challenge.
“No doubt. There’s no question,” Brees said, in a private moment. “I’m not getting ahead myself, like it’s a pipe dream, at 45. I understand the challenges that come along with that. But why not? If I can stay healthy, and I’m having fun and playing at a high level, why wouldn’t I wanna do that? The biggest challenge is physically, the maintenance, the recovery, the way you train. You gotta hope that you stay healthy, but why not?”
That number undoubtedly will be scoffed at, but Brees is in peak physical condition and as smart as any quarterback so even if his physical abilities diminish in the next five years, he could conceivably get by with his advanced football IQ.
Warren Moon played until he was 44 when he finished his career with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2000 and was a starter at 42 with the Seattle Seahawks. Moon threw for 2,678 yards and 25 touchdowns at 41, so why couldn’t Brees play into his 40s under a quarterback-friendly offense under Sean Payton and a target like Jimmy Graham to serve as his security blanket?
If nothing else this will serve as motivation for Brees to get through training camp and the seasons that come so he can maintain his status as one of the top three or four quarterbacks in the league and keep the young signal-callers like Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson looking up at him.