New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) runs off the field after a 35-32 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Drew Brees wants to play as long as he possibly can.
Whether or not he makes it to 45, the goal he set for himself at the beginning of training camp last season, is hard for anybody, including Brees, to say.
Brees admitted he might have been jumping the gun just a little when he set such a lofty goal for himself.
“45 is a long way away,” Brees said on ESPN’s SVP and Russillo Wednesday. “I’m 36 right now, and I know I got maybe a little overzealous last year when I threw out the number 45.”
Few NFL quarterbacks make it long past their 40th birthday. Warren Moon played until he was 44. So did Vinny Testaverde and Steve Deberg. For the most part, those final years were in backup roles, but the precedent is still there.
Brees simply felt so good before the beginning of last season that it was hard to see a finish line anywhere in sight.
“At different stages in your career, I just think you kind of reassess and reevaluate and try to set goals moving forward,” Brees said. “It was just kind of one of those moments last year where my body felt great, felt like I had a great system in place with my training and my recovery and my diet and everything, gosh, why not?”
Brees has considered life after football, at least in a business sense.
Already a Jimmy Johns franchisee, Brees further expanded his interests by becoming a co-owner of Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, a restaurant he hopes to franchise regionally and nationally.
“I’m blessed to play this game, and I’m going to try to play it for as long as I can, but certainly I have other interests,” Brees said. “I know that I can only play football for so long, and then it’s going to be on to things like this, that I’m trying to build while I’m still playing.”
Don’t expect Brees to start seriously considering hanging up his cleats yet.
Even if 45 might have been a little overzealous, it’s still clear that Brees would like to stay in football for as long as he possibly can, and it wouldn’t bother him if he was still on the field nine years from now.
“A lot of things have to fall into place favorably for that to happen,” Brees said. “Nobody’s really done it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.”