Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady posted a tribute to Drew Brees’ career upon the news of the New Orleans Saints quarterback retiring on Sunday, 15 years after the day he signed with them.
“Congrats my friend on an incredible career. Thank you for the inspiration and dedication on and off the field! Look forward to seeing what’s next,” Brady wrote on Twitter.
Brees shared the news of his retirement on Instagram with his four children announcing it. They said their dad “finally going to retire” so “he can spend more time with us! Yay!”
“After 20 years as a player in the NFL and 15 years as a Saint, it is time I retire from the game of football,” Brees wrote. “Each day, I poured my heart & soul into being your Quarterback. Til the very end, I exhausted myself to give everything I had to the Saints organization, my team, and the great city of New Orleans.”
“We shared some amazing moments together, many of which are emblazoned in our hearts and minds and will forever be a part of us,” Brees continued. “You have molded me, strengthened me, inspired me, and given me a lifetime of memories. My goal for the last 15 years was striving to give to you everything you had given to me and more.”
“I am only retiring from playing football, I am not retiring from New Orleans,” Brees concluded. “This is not goodbye, rather a new beginning. Now my real life‘s work begins!”
Bucs Give Shoutout to Brees
The Bucs offered its own well wishes for Brees. “Congratulations on an incredible career, @drewbrees.”
Brees made things challenging for the Bucs throughout his years in the NFC South, winning seven division titles. The Saints with Brees under center went 20-10 against the Bucs in the regular season.
The Bucs only won the NFC South once during Brees’ tenure. Brady’s arrival in Tampa couldn’t change that in 2020, either.
Brady and Brees go all the way back to college days in the Big Ten during the late 1990s when Brady played at Michigan and Brees played for Purdue. Their paths crossed in the NFL a few teams over the years, and their teams faced each other three times this past season as Brady joined the Bucs in the same division as Brees’ Saints.
They also had a race for the top touchdown passer of all time until Brees got hurt during the regular season. Brees retires with the most passing yards of all time, but Brady will have a chance to catch Brees for that in 2021.
Brady and the Bucs beat Brees’ Saints in his final NFL game during the NFC Playoffs in January. They had a little fun before the game on social media with the Brady-Brees History Channel Meme.
After the game, Brady connected with Brees and his family in a video that went viral. It turned out to be the last time the longtime competitors and friends would play against each other on the same field.