Drew Brees announces retirement from NFL

By Sports Desk March 14, 2021

Drew Brees has called time on his remarkable NFL career, announcing his retirement after 20 seasons.

The New Orleans Saints great posted on Instagram on Sunday: "After 20 years as a player in the NFL and 15 years as a Saint, it is time I retire from the game of football.

"Each day, I poured my heart and soul into being your quarterback. Until the very end, I exhausted myself to give everything I had to the Saints organisation, my team, and the great city of New Orleans.

"We shared some amazing moments together, many of which are emblazoned in our hearts and minds and will forever be a part of us.

"You have moulded me, strengthened me, inspired me, and given me a lifetime of memories.

"My goal for the last 15 years was striving to give to you everything you had given to me and more.

"I am only retiring from playing football, I am not retiring from New Orleans. This is not goodbye, rather a new beginning. Now my real life's work begins!"

Brees' retirement comes on the back of a 2020 season that ended with the Saints' Divisional Round playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

His 134-yard performance in that loss marked a meek conclusion for a quarterback who is a certainty to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame after a record-breaking two decades in the league.

Brees threw a touchdown and three interceptions at the Superdome as the Bucs prevailed 30-20, again falling short of a second Super Bowl title.

But Brees will forever be remembered as the quarterback who helped turn the Saints franchise around in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, leading them to glory in Super Bowl XLIV at the end of the 2009 season.

His was also a career in which he defied those who doubted his ability to perform at the highest level following a torn labrum suffered in 2005.

That injury led to his exit from the team that drafted him, the then-San Diego Chargers, while the Miami Dolphins opted against signing Brees over fears his shoulder had not fully healed.

Instead, it was the Saints that pounced, with Brees going on to lead the league in passing yards in seven of his seasons with New Orleans. He led the league in passing touchdowns four times and set the high watermark in passer rating twice and completion percentage six times.

A 13-time Pro Bowler, Brees was MVP in the Saints' Super Bowl triumph over the Indianapolis Colts. He also won Offensive Player of the Year twice in his career.

The 42-year-old retires as the all-time leader in passing completions (7,142) and passing yards (80,142), though Tom Brady will likely surpass him in the latter category next season.

Though he has a host of records in his possession, the drop-off in Brees' play has been obvious in recent seasons, with his display against the Bucs indicative of a player who now lacks the arm strength to elevate those around him.

His exit leaves the Saints with a massive decision to make this offseason, with Taysom Hill the only senior quarterback under contract for next season.

Head coach Sean Payton and the Saints' hierarchy will have to decide whether Hill's four-game audition in 2020 was enough for him to be named the starter or if they will aim to re-sign Jameis Winston or bring in a new face to step into Brees' sizeable shoes.

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    A video on social media showed armed officers rush into Union Station on a day supporters gathered near the building at the end of the parade route to celebrate Sunday’s victory with the team’s players and staff.

    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

    Radio Station KKFI said on social media that one of their presenters, DJ Lisa Lopez, was killed in the shooting.

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    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

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    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

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    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

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    Kansas City players and staff were celebrating beating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years.

    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Travis Kelce wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “I am heartbroken over the tragedy that took place today. My heart is with all who came out to celebrate with us and have been affected. KC, you mean the world to me.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

    “We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

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  • One person dead and over 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade One person dead and over 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade

    One person has died and more than 20 others have been injured after shots were fired near the scene of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.

    A video on social media showed armed officers rush into Union Station on a day supporters gathered near the building at the end of the parade route to celebrate Sunday’s victory with the team’s players and staff.

    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

    “Right now, we’re still working on the total number of victims. This is still an active investigation.

    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

    “At this time, we have confirmed that all of our players, coaches, staff and their families are safe and accounted for.

    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

    Kansas City players and staff were celebrating beating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years.

    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

    “We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

    Earlier, the city had been in party mode as Super Bowl MVP Mahomes and team-mate Travis Kelce took centre stage on a platform near Union Station.

    Mahomes had told a cheering crowd the Chiefs were going for a “three-peat” next season while Kelce led the supporters in some chanting.

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    The Kansas City Police Department confirmed that one person had died and two armed people had been taken into custody following the incident.

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.

    “We’re still gathering information on the number and the status of victims. We know that one of the victims is deceased.

    “Right now, we have up to 10 to 15 injured. We do not have an exact number of people who were victims of a gunshot wound.

    During the press conference, it was announced that the Kansas City Chiefs had confirmed all their players, coaches and staff were safe and accounted for.

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