The alternative for Brees was only going to be retirement. Interestingly, he was reportedly telling those around him at the Pro Bowl that he was going to hang up the cleats for good as recently as the Pro Bowl on Jan. 26, reports insider Adam Schefter.
Was Brees just bluffing and trying to fool everyone? Probably not. The 41-year-old must have had a genuine change of heart sometime between then and now, and pocketing an extra $50 million helped make the decision for him.
The one shock in this whole story? Brees now has to go up against Tom Brady a minimum of two times this season after the Patriots legend turned the NFL upside down in opting to join the Buccaneers.
Brees and the Saints have exited three straight postseasons with single-digit losses. The last two have come in overtime, and Brees may have felt enough was enough. Telling others at the Pro Bowl he planned to retire means his mind was nearly made up. Clearly, something other than just money drew him back in. And now, it's game on in the NFC South.