In an advertisement for the Can-Am Spyder motorcycle, Saints quarterback Drew Brees wants to ride the three-wheel vehicle but can’t do so because riding a motorcycle is forbidden in his contract.
His workaround in the commercial is he decides to retire so he can ride. He calls his agent, tells him he’s retiring, the agent cries as Brees drives the motorcycle around town (it’s a stunt double in the ad, of course), then tells his agent he’s un-retiring now that he has taken his trip on the motorcycle.
But no worries in real life: Even though he's in his mid-30s, Brees said the thought of retirement hasn’t even crept into his mind.
“I’ve been so focused on the job at hand, I haven’t thought about that,” Brees, 35, said of retirement during a series of interviews promoting Can-Am Spyder. “I think about playing well and winning as many games as possible, and that takes all by focus. And as long as I’m healthy and can play at a high level, I want to keep going. I think I can play five-plus years, into my 40s. That would be incredible if I can reach that point. But for now it’s one year at a time.”
It was almost unheard of for a quarterback to play into his 40s a few years ago, but the bar for that has been moved. Brett Favre had one of the best seasons of his storied career for the Vikings at age 40.
Last year provided two good examples of quarterbacks ignoring age. Peyton Manning had perhaps the greatest single season in NFL history at age 37. Tom Brady played at a very high level at age 36. Neither looks close to retiring. And neither does Brees, who had his fourth 5,000-yard season and threw for 39 touchdowns last season.
Manning has been very open about how he understands he's nearing the end of his career, but Brees doesn't entertain such talk. Seeing Manning and Brady still in their primes gives Brees reason to believe that at least five more great years is a real goal.
“Absolutely,” Brees said. “Those two are two of the best of all time and to see them still performing at a high level gives you motivation, seeing what the quarterback position is able to do these days.”
The retirement gag in the commercial was just for laughs, but Brees is serious about letting loose when he retires, whenever that is. He said he used to ride some off-road vehicles before he got to the NFL, but gave that up. He’d love to ride a motorcycle but can’t. He even said he’d like to go snowboarding and skiing, but he has to wait.
“There’s a lot of things I’d like to do but I can’t,” Brees said. “But I get to play quarterback in the NFL. it’s a great responsibility, and I understand I only have so much opportunity to play this game. Then when I’m done I have time to do the other things.”
If Brees has his way, he won’t touch the motorcycle for at least five more years. Given the way he played last season and how other future Hall of Fame quarterbacks have fared into their late 30s recently, there’s really no reason to doubt that we'll continue to see Brees quarterbacking the Saints for a while.
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