Harlan: Brady Looks Old, Will Retire Before Brees

Drew Brees has the better supporting cast and will play longer than Tom Brady, Kevin Harlan says

Zach Gelb
January 03, 2020 - 9:02 am
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Tom Brady and Drew Brees will both host home playoff games this weekend, as the Patriots and Saints take on the Titans and Vikings, respectively. 

These are two future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterbacks, no doubt, but which one will retire first? Will it be the 42-year-old Brady or the soon-to-be 41-year-old Brees?

“I think Brady,” NFL broadcaster Kevin Harlan said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I think Brady sees a massive rebuild with this Patriot offense. They’ve of course not been in the position to draft very high because they’re always winning – and that takes its toll. That’s what’s been most shocking about New England. Think about how few high draft picks, game-changers, they’ve been able to draft because they’ve been so good for so long. I’m not crying a river here for New England, but that is just a statement of fact. The good teams don’t draft very high, and it does catch up with you.”

Brady has defied Father Time for several years, but he looked his age this season. He completed just 60.8 percent of his passes (his lowest since 2013) and threw for just 24 touchdowns (his fewest since 2006).

Brees, meanwhile, completed 74.3 percent of his passes and threw for 27 touchdowns in 11 games.

“Just the optics tell me that Brees has more to play with – with perhaps the best single offensive player in pro football in his receiver, Michael Thomas – and a line, when healthy, that is good and decorated, and a running attack which has some teeth to it,” Harlan said. “I think he has more youth and guys around him than Brady does. . . . Brady has taken a lot of hits. Brady looks old. He does. He does not have the same line protection, he does’t have the same weapons, I don’t know if it’s readily correctable during an offseason – I don’t know. But the optics tell me it would be Tom."