Russell Wilson gave up his Pro Bowl starting spot to Drew Brees amidst rumors that the Saints’ quarterback could retire. During an interview with ESPN, Wilson noted the gesture was made to honor Brees during his 19th NFL season and 13th Pro Bowl. Prior to the Pro Bowl, Brees explained that he expects to make a decision about his future a month after the season ends.
“I’m really waiting until football is totally done,” Brees told The Times-Picayune. “Obviously being here, I’m just very much focused on my family and this opportunity to be be around the guys, playing the game. Then, I’ll kind of lay low for a little bit, get away and then assess. I kind of have a process in mind. And I’ll give it a month or so.”
Wilson’s move is a subtle indication that we could be seeing the last of Brees on the football field. Brees emphasized that whenever he retires he will continue to think of himself as a member of the Saints.
“I have never been in the situation where I was mulling over the thought of (returning),” Brees noted to The Times-Picayune. “To me, each one of these contracts, I don’t know how many it’s been with the Saints, I’ve played with them 14 years, each one, it’s not a matter of if it gets done, it’s when. At this stage of my career, it’s not a given that I’m coming back every year, but when that time comes, I’ll always be a Saint.”
Wilson Called Brees His “Favorite Player to Ever Play the Game”
Wilson has been vocal in his support for Brees and how much he admires his game. Brees paved the way for Wilson and other quarterbacks of smaller stature to have success in the NFL. Earlier this season, Wilson called Brees his favorite player in the NFL.
“Drew, he’s probably my favorite player to ever play the game,” Wilson explained, per The News Tribune. “I think about his legacy, what he’s meant to the game,” Wilson said. “He’s allowed me to … he’s helped me to kind of help open up the door for me to play, as a shorter quarterback. There’s been some guys before him that I’m sure he’d acknowledge, as well, the Doug Fluties of the world, and other, Steve Youngs.”
Wilson Is Aiming to Have a Legacy like Brees When His Career Ends
Brees is one of the quarterbacks that Wilson admires and the Seahawks quarterback noted after the season that he is hoping he can have the same kind of success during the second half of his career. Wilson pointed to Brees and Tom Brady as players who continued to have success as they got older, per The Seattle Times.
On the day after Seattle’s season-ending playoff defeat against Green Bay, Wilson noted that other quarterbacks, such as Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, had “pretty special” seasons in the “eight to 13, 15” years of their careers, seasons in which he said those quarterbacks helped cement their legacies.
“So I want to make sure that mine are pretty special,” said Wilson, who had just concluded the eighth year of his career.