The next football game featuring Drew Brees might be a Notre Dame one.
That’s because the New Orleans Saints quarterback reportedly has a deal with NBC Sports to become an analyst upon his retirement and Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL playoffs may have been his last.
Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported before Sunday’s game that Brees would retire after the playoff run for the Saints. Brees did not confirm that report during his postgame press conference.
“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,” Brees said.
Brees’ deal with NBC Sports was reported last April by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand. In that report, Brees was described as being groomed as the potential replacement for Cris Collinsworth on “Sunday Night Football.” But first Brees would be tabbed as a game analyst for NBC’s coverage of Notre Dame football and a studio analyst for “Football Night in America,” NBC’s Sunday night pregame show.
NBC Sports has not commented on Brees’ impending role with the network and likely won’t until after Brees announces his retirement from the NFL.
Tony Dungy took over as game analyst for Notre Dame football games on NBC this past season. He was announced as the replacement for Doug Flutie only 11 days before the season opener against Duke last September.
Dungy’s work alongside play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico seemed to be well-received by Notre Dame fans, so maybe that will impact NBC Sports’ plan for Brees.
Tirico, who became the full-time Notre Dame play-by-play broadcaster for NBC in 2017, might not be covering Notre Dame for many more years either. Marchand also reported last year that Tirico will eventually replace Al Michaels as the play-by-play man for “Sunday Night Football,” though a timeline for that wasn’t clear beyond the fact that Michaels’ contract at the time was set to expire following the 2021 season.
If Notre Dame’s 2021 schedule remains as previously planned, NBC’s first ND broadcast will come Sept. 11 when the Irish host Toledo.
The following week, Brees’ alma mater, Purdue, is scheduled to visit Notre Dame.