Drew Brees’ biggest opponent in 2016 will be the number 37

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Drew Brees continues to do great things as the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, but time is of the essence for the future Hall of Famer.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is without question a future Hall of Famer. This is a fact that no one will even attempt to argue against. The career numbers that he has put up is simply staggering. He is arguably the best free agency acquisition of all time.

When few teams wanted to take a chance on a quarterback that was coming off a severe shoulder injury, the Saints did just that. With the addition of head coach Sean Payton in 2006, the Black and Gold went on a long-lasting love affair with the city as well as a championship that put the team in Super Bowl history books.

Brees helped bring a dying town that was defined by a catastrophe to a city that the world fell in love with from coast to coast. The legacy has been written for Drew Brees. He will live forever in the hearts and minds of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region.

Now, the year 2015 is slowly coming to an end, and I can’t stress how long this season has been. The Saints dropped another game on Monday Night Football to the Detroit Lions. New Orleans is now officially eliminated from playoff contention, falling to an NFC South worst 5-9. This is where we are.

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While the optimism was somewhat infectious from the start of the season and maybe even a few weeks ago, it’s time to come to acceptance. Saints fans will never leave. This franchise has been here far before Drew Brees and even before celebrated former coach Jim Mora. There will be books and videos that will be passed on from generation to generation.

The black and gold blood that runs through all of us will be passed on. But there is one more grave thing that fans and Drew Brees should come to grips with. Time is measured in numbers. We can’t stop it. We age and our bones remind us that father time will catch up to all of us at some point.

Drew Brees will turn 37-years-old in 2016. 37 is a critical age. We should take a look at some of the Hall of Famers that played the quarterback position like Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, and John Elway. The ages of these quarterbacks were 38 for Montana, 34 for Aikman, 36 for Kelly, 38 for Marino, and 38 for Elway. If you average those numbers out, you come out with an approximate age of 37. Technically, if you want to be a math guru the age would be under 37.

So, this age that Drew Brees is coming to is a number. It doesn’t mean that he is done. It doesn’t mean anything except that Brees is coming to the age where most Hall of Famers retire. On the other hand, for the optimists, there have been exceptions but not many. Obviously, players are stronger and faster nowadays.

There was Warren Moon, who played until he was 44-years-old. Moon did have one productive year in 1997 where he threw 25 touchdowns at the age of 41. The only problem was that in the other four years, he played hurt and didn’t accumulate more than 19 touchdowns in the remaining years. There are also a few examples of players that have had some success in their late 30’s as well, like Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.

As the year ends, the Saints will have to make some hard decisions. The thought of acceptance may be a harsh truth when 2016 season comes around. Drew Brees could very well have a great season next year, but what about the team? If the Saints continue to kick the can down the road to where Brees declines, how far could they fall, or how high could they climb?

Is it possible they could go from 6-10 to 12-4. The answer is a resounding yes — just look at the Carolina Panthers. They weren’t exactly looking like they could win 14-16 games going from last year’s record. Sure, it is possible, but the bigger question though is what is the likelihood? Perhaps Drew Brees deserves a chance for what he has meant to the franchise.

There will be a time though where he will eventually have to come to the acceptance as well. Drew Brees is not invincible, and the ‘Who Dat Nation’ would probably agree. Finding that exact time of acceptance comes at different moments for each and every player. New Orleans can only hope that Drew Brees will make that appropriate diagnosis at the right time.

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