Tom Brady and Drew Brees exchanged pleasantries after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the New Orleans Saints in a divisional round playoff game. It was just a few seconds, but meaningful considering it has been widely reported that Brees will retire.
Much longer after they met on the field, Brady came back to have a more meaningful and private conversation with Brees on the Superdome field.
Brady and Brees have the top two spots in career passing yardage and career touchdown passes. They have been among the NFL’s top stars for two decades. After Sunday’s game, the respect between the two quarterbacks who are in their 40s was clear.
Tom Brady seeks out Drew Brees
Brady, 43, was happy about another playoff win and his 14th trip to the conference championship round, but he took the time to find Brees.
Brees, 42, was out on the field playing with his kids and taking in the moment, which will further fuel speculation that Brees had just played his final game.
Tom Brady came over, sat his bag down and just stood there chatting with Brees, his wife and his kids in the quiet Dome after the game.
— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) January 18, 2021
As Tom Brady and Drew Brees hug and say goodbye after a long talk on the field, Brady throws a touchdown pass to Brees’ son. One walks off to play in the NFC championship, the other stays to play with his kids. pic.twitter.com/wdWDro9YD4
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 18, 2021
Cool moment. Brady & Brees when the dust settles. They’ll be teammates in Canton pic.twitter.com/4Hafq92QJe
— Scott Smith (@ScottSmithFOX13) January 18, 2021
Brady and Brees haven’t faced off too often, with Brees spending most of his career in the NFC and Brady being in the AFC. But not many people know what it’s like to be in their position. And it’s unlikely the two legends will be in that same situation again.
Brees spends time on the field after loss
Brees didn’t say after Sunday’s game, which was the first in NFL history between two starting quarterbacks in their 40s, if he’d retire. He said he would take time to decide.
It’s tough to make a decision like that right after a tough loss, but a lot of signs pointed to it being the end. Brees pointed and looked up in the stands as he blew kisses, presumably in the direction of his family. He took one look back at the field after entering the tunnel. Then he came back out to play with his kids, the last group on the field after the game.
The Brees family is the last one on the field. pic.twitter.com/E4azrVj8Fi
— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) January 18, 2021
Brady is not just moving on to the NFC championship game, reports have said he has no plans to retire. Meanwhile, it seemed like the end of the line for Brees and his great career. Brady decided to take some time on Sunday night to show respect to a fellow competitor. They’ll both be Hall of Famers before too long.
Brady will have a similar moment at some point when he decides to retire. The end comes for all players. Brady seemed to recognize that moment for Brees better than anyone else.
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