Report: Saints Asked Drew Brees to Unretire for “Monday Night Football”

The Saints will host the Miami Dolphins tonight in New Orleans

Ex-New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees speaks to fans during halftime of a game. The retired QB was almost coaxed into playing this week due to injuries on the team.
Ex-New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees speaks to fans during halftime of a game.
Chris Graythen/Getty

Yesterday, retired quarterback Drew Brees offered his analysis of the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Washington Football Team in a game that became a 56-14 rout in favor of the hosts on Sunday Night Football.

If he was interested in coming out of retirement, the 42-year-old could have been preparing to play tonight on Monday Night Football instead.

Ahead of Monday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins, the New Orleans Saints tried to lure Brees out of retirement to play quarterback, according to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

With Week 1 starter Jameis Winston out for the season due to a torn ACL, the Saints have been deploying a combination of Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian under center. But with both of those players out for Monday’s game after landing on the COVID-19 list, New Orleans is turning to rookie Ian Book, formerly of Notre Dame.

Per Duncan, New Orleans reached out to Brees about taking the reins of the Saints’ offense and he gave the idea some “serious thought” after being personally called by head coach Sean Payton. While contemplating the possibility of a return, Brees made it clear he would only return as the starter. But, it was not to be.

“Ultimately, Brees nixed the idea, in part, because on such short notice, he wasn’t 100% confident he would be able to make the throws necessary to successfully lead the offense,” according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “He didn’t want to short-change the Saints in such a critical game at such a critical time in their playoff run. Even in retirement, Brees was the ultimate ‘team guy.”’

In addition to Brees, who was the team’s first choice as a fill-in starter for a week, the Saints also checked in with Philip Rivers and Josh McCown about starting this week before ultimately signing Blake Bortles to be Book’s backup against the Dolphins.

With both Hill and Siemian expected back from the COVID-19 list next week, it’s probably best that Brees stayed on the sidelines as a one-week return for the 7-7 Saints could have gotten awkward, win or lose.

While the Saints will roll with Book tonight and then either Hill or Siemian (or a combination of both) after that, New Orleans could go back to Winston as their starting QB next season. That would require re-signing the 27-year-old, who posted 1,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions through seven games before getting injured, but it likely wouldn’t be at a ridiculous price.

“There was excitement there [in New Orleans] because you’re dealing with big-time arm talent,” an NFC exec who said it wouldn’t be a surprise to see New Orleans re-sign Winston told ESPN. “Jameis isn’t perfect, but there’s a lot of ability there, some of it still untapped.”

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