Ready for his next chapter! Drew Brees announced his plans to retire from his 20-year-long NFL career on Sunday, March 14 — and he got his kids to help him reveal the news in an adorable video.
The longtime New Orleans Saints player, 42, shared his career change-up via Instagram with a video featuring his four children with wife of 18 years, Brittany Brees: Baylen, 12, Bowen, 10, Callen, 8, and Rylen, 6.
“After 15 years with the Saints and 20 years in the NFL, our dad is finally gonna retire,” his children took turns saying, before they all jumped up with excitement to add, “So he can spend more time with us! Yay!”
Drew’s sweet video was accompanied by a statement he wrote about his retirement.
“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. 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,” the athlete wrote. “We shared some amazing moments together, many of which are emblazoned in our hearts and minds and will forever be a part of us. You have molded me, strengthened me, inspired me, and given me a lifetime of memories.”
He continued, “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. This is not goodbye, rather a new beginning. Now, my real life‘s work begins!”
Drew was drafted into the NFL in 2001 and began his career with the San Diego Chargers. After leaving the California-based team in 2005, he joined the New Orleans Saints the following year.
During his run with the Saints, he helped them to win their first and only Super Bowl championship in 2010. Though they never returned to the Super Bowl after that victory, the athlete led the Louisiana-based team to four NFC titles.
Drew played his last NFL game in January when he went up against pal Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFC championship and lost 30-20. Brady, 43, then won his 7th Super Bowl the following month.
The doting dad previously opened up about how he worked to balance his athletic career alongside parenting his young ones with wife Brittany.
“For me, it’s all time management. I try to be very efficient during the season. The offseason is great because I get a lot more time with the kids, and a lot more consistent time,” he explained to Daddy Files in 2013. “During the season there’s not a lot of time, but I try to structure my whole schedule around where the kids are gonna be.”
Shortly after his final game this past season, Brittany congratulated her husband, who had been playing with multiple injuries. She also praised him for setting a great example for their children.
“I am so proud of you and the man you are,” she wrote via Instagram in January. “The fact that you played this entire year with a torn rotator cuff, torn fascia in your foot, … then later 11 broken ribs [and] a collapsed lung … yet did not complain once makes me think I should not have taken the epidural while giving birth to the kids.”
Brittany added, “This is definitely not how I prayed this year would end and to say my heart is broken for you is an understatement, but God’s plans are always better. Your children have watched you handle it all with integrity, grace and the most amazing work ethic. We r so proud of you.”