UPDATE: Brees addressed the reports he was parting ways with NBC in a tweet that noted he’s considering a number of options and is undecided on his future — one of which was to play quarterback again in the NFL.
Despite speculation from media about my future this fall, I’m currently undecided. I may work for NBC, I may play football again, I may focus on business and philanthropy, I may train for the pickleball tour, senior golf tour, coach my kids or all of the above. I’ll let you know
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) May 15, 2022
Original Story: When Drew Brees announced his retirement after the 2020 NFL season, he immediately inked a deal with NBC to join the network’s Sunday Night Football coverage, with NBC hoping he would eventually move into the lead analyst role alongside Mike Tirico.
However, Brees did not make for a particularly good in-game analyst, struggling to provide the same level of insight into the game as a Tony Romo or Cris Collinsworth, while also not being a particularly engaging personality. That’s a rough combination for the broadcast booth, and the result was Collinsworth staying in his position as the lead game analyst as Tirico takes over for Al Michaels, with Brees remaining somewhat in limbo.
Some clarity on Brees’ situation arrived on Sunday afternoon, when Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Brees was leaving NBC in what was described as a “mutual” split, noting NBC wasn’t particularly thrilled with his performance and Brees was not wanting to just do studio coverage. Marchand reports Brees could be in the mix to join Fox’s coverage, as they need an analyst after Troy Aikman’s departure, but with Tom Brady on his way into the lead booth whenever he retires on a record deal, it would at-best be a spot job before being bumped down a notch — and that’s if Fox sees him as a better option than Greg Olsen, who has proven himself as a better analyst to this point than Brees. However, it’s not a surprise to hear Brees wants to find a new analyst job, as what’d be the point of getting that TV hair if he just left after a year.
From a network point of view, Brees’ struggles in making the transition from star QB to the booth and quick ouster from NBC might cause them to pump the brakes at least a bit on blindly assuming that’s a move every top quarterback can make, and will at least make Fox a bit sweaty about the Brady deal which they are clearly banking on being a slam dunk.