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Quarterback Drew Brees publicly noncommittal about future following New Orleans Saints' season-ending defeat

'I'll keep that to myself right now'

Gallery_Game_Action_Bucs_Saints_Divisional_20200117_266
Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup in the Divisional Round of the 2020 NFL playoffs.

Drew Brees wasn't inclined to divulge his personal game plan Sunday night.

"Well, I'll answer this question one time, and that is that I'm going to give myself an opportunity to think about the season, think about a lot of things – just like I did last year – and make a decision," he said.

Brees' and the Saints' season ended Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in a 30-20 loss to Tampa Bay in their NFC divisional playoff game.

Following the 2019 season, Brees contemplated retirement, but said he returned for his 20th NFL season to play for the team, organization and city. He missed four games due to fractured ribs, but returned to help the Saints (13-5) win their fourth consecutive NFC South Division title and earn the No. 2 seed for the playoffs.

He and his teammates essentially carried a "Super Bowl or bust" theme this season, which concluded against the team they swept during the regular season.

"I would never regret it," Brees said of returning this season. "Never. No complaints, no regrets.

"I've always tried to play this game with a great respect, and a great reverence for it. I appreciate all that this game has given to me. There are obviously so many incredible memories, so many incredible relationships that have come as a result of playing this game.

"Man, you find out so much about yourself and you have to fight through so much when you play this game, and I'd say this season, probably had to fight through more than I've ever had to in any other season in my career. From injury to all the Covid stuff to just crazy circumstances, man, it was worth every moment. Absolutely."

His teammates and coaches also were noncommittal, as Brees left open the door for a return, as he did last year and the year before. Brees said he has undergone the same decision-making process the last four seasons or so.

"Listen, I think that is probably for another press conference," Coach Sean Payton said Sunday night, when asked to describe what Brees has meant to him. "I can't speak for Drew. Obviously, he's been tremendous for this team, this city. I could go on and on. Let's wait and answer that at the right time."

"All I can say is, since I've been here Drew has been nothing but a good teammate, a good guy, a great leader and I respect him so much in all facets of his life," center Erik McCoy said Monday. "It's just been a blessing, regardless of what his decision is, to be able to snap the ball to him."

Brees, who threw three interceptions in the loss, said the performance would have no bearing on his decision-making, and said he wouldn't elaborate on what will go into the process.

"I'll keep that to myself right now."

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