Brees and the Saints finished the regular season 13-3 in 2019 only to lose in the playoffs to the Minnesota Vikings in a heartbreaking overtime game. With questions swirling around Brees and whether his time in the league is coming to an end, Brees faced reality with reporters.
“Hey, at this time, man, I'm on borrowed time,” Brees said, according to ESPN. “I've got nothing to lose. So I'm turning it loose and letting the chips fall where they may.”
The 41-year-old said he’s hoping a second Super Bowl ring is in his near future.
“I know that everything happens for a reason and, in most cases, failure is your best teacher,” he said. “That's the approach I've always taken, and that's the approach this team has taken. And I feel like we've found a way to garner strength from each one of these moments over these last few years. And it's only made us better.”
Brees, the all-time NFL leader in passing touchdowns and passing yards, will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now led by Tom Brady who is second all-time in passing touchdowns and passing yards. Both players are in the twilight of their Hall of Fame careers.
“[Brady and Brees have] really kind of broken the rules relative to age and how far they've gone into their careers,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “And I think you'll continue to see that more and more. We know more now relative to recovery; we know more now relative to sleep and nutrition, and I think we'll point to two players like that.
“And I just think the drive, the determination, the skill set -- and when you put all those things together, you get rare, rare players.”