Drew Brees seems like he can play football forever, but seeing as how he’s 41 and father time is undefeated, the future Hall of Fame inductee’s playing career doesn’t have all that much time left. Whenever he decides to hang them up, though, Brees already knows what he’s going to do next.
A new report by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post indicates that Brees, who was being courted by several television networks, has decided to ink a deal with NBC Sports that will lead to him being “groomed as a potential replacement” for longtime Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth. However, before he gets to that point, NBC plans on using him on other broadcasts to get his feet wet in the broadcasting world.
When Brees retires from the Saints, he is expected to start as a game analyst on Notre Dame football and as a studio analyst for “Football Night in America.” In its recruitment of Brees, NBC sold him on it being the best place to succeed.
Brees had been courted by ESPN, too, as the lead analyst for Monday Night Football, which has been a focus for the network this offseason. The Worldwide Leader in Sports had an eye on Tony Romo, who opted to stay with CBS, and asked Peyton Manning if he would be interested in the job, but he declined. While Marchand laid out some potential other names to look out for in ESPN’s overhaul of its signature football broadcast, there wasn’t an indication that there is anything imminent with regards to replacing Joe Tessitore and/or Booger McFarland.
Still, in the world of broadcasting, this is a huge win for NBC, which now can throw Brees and Mike Tirico on games, whether it be in place of or alongside Collinsworth and Al Michaels. As Marchand reported, two No. 1 booths is potentially on the table.
The move by NBC has been made in part to solidify its announcing group as all the networks head into negotiations with the NFL for the next TV rights agreement. NBC could possibly add a second NFL package, which would allow Brees and Collinsworth to both be No. 1s. If not, Brees will be in the on-deck circle.
Brees agreed to a two-year, $50 million extension with the New Orleans Saints this past offseason, but Marchand pointed out that “there is a feeling this could be his final season.”