Drew Brees is six feet tall. That's above average for the general population, but as a quarterback, it had NFL scouts terrified that he'd be far too short to ever succeed; the average NFL quarterback is about 6'3".
To say Brees' career defied those initial expectations would be an understatement; Brees is statistically one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game, and has a realistic chance of retiring as the all-time leader in categories like passing yards and touchdowns. He's not just an NFL legend but a New Orleans legend, signing with the Saints less than a year after Hurricane Katrina and bringing the team its first ever Super Bowl Championship (not to mention his charitable endeavors for the city).
Brees has become one of the biggest celebrities in the NFL, the face of a franchise, and has made very good money doing so. His height may have cost him some money in the beginning of his career, but it's hard to imagine he's complaining now.
Drew Brees Net Worth?
A lot. Net worth estimates may vary - Celebrity Net Worth values Brees at $120 million - but regardless of the actual number, Brees has been handsomely rewarded for being one of the top QBs of all-time, and one of the elite players of his era.
Drew Brees Contracts
He didn't start out elite, though. The height concerns led NFL teams to stay away from him for the entire first round of the 2001 NFL Draft; he was selected as the first pick of the second round, #32 overall, by the then-San Diego Chargers. Several months later he signed his rookie contract, worth $3.6 million over 4 years.
Brees saw the field in just one game his rookie year, and was shaky as the starting quarterback in the 2002 and 2003 seasons, leading the Chargers to draft a quarterback in the first round in 2004. This lit a fire under Brees, who started 15 games in 04 and had his best year yet, throwing 27 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions.
Unwilling to sign Brees long term, the Chargers put the franchise tag on him for the 2005 season, paying him $8 million. Brees again had a good year, but an injury in the final game of the season required surgery. Concerns about whether he could fully recover from the injury briefly hurt him in free agency after the season, as the Miami Dolphins spoke with Brees but decided not to sign him. Instead, Brees signed a 6-year contract with the New Orleans Saints, worth $60 million.
Drew Brees Saints Contracts
With the Saints, Brees went from above-average starting QB to NFL superstar, putting together a great 2006 season and leading the upstart Saints to the playoffs, making it all the way to the NFC Championship Game.
Brees improved statistically in '07 and '08 but the team missed the playoffs each year. In 2009, however, Brees exploded for an MVP-caliber season and led the Saints to an impressive Super Bowl victory over Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts, the team highly favored to win. Brees finished his first Saints contract with two more playoff appearances in 2010 and 2011, capping off 6 incredible years for the Saints and the star QB.
For his efforts, Brees got a much larger contract in 2012: Five years, $100 million. $60 million of that was guaranteed, and the deal included a $37 million signing bonus; Brees may have been disappointed in the Saints missing the playoffs that year, but surely getting paid $40 million helped out. 2013-2015 saw reliable, consistently great seasons from Brees, but the team itself made the playoffs just once in those three years. Those efforts got Brees a 1-year extension worth nearly $25 million in 2016. From 2014-16 Brees threw 102 touchdowns against 43 interceptions, and led the league in passing yards each time. But a poor supporting cast meant no playoffs for the Saints in any of those years.
In 2017, Brees finally brought the team back to the playoffs. Brees had his fewest touchdown total (23) since 2003, but led the league with a 72% completion percentage, at the time an NFL record. And a new core of young players on both offense and defense helped revitalize the team. They would win their first playoff game against the Panthers before a crushing loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the last seconds, a play known (infamously in New Orleans) as the Minneapolis Miracle.
After the 2017 season, Brees and the Saints avoided free agency by signing the 39-year-old to a two-year $50 million deal; that meant that Brees spent 2018 as one of the 10 highest paid players in the NFL.
2018 was an even better year for both Brees and New Orleans. Brees broke his record for highest completion percentage in a single season by completing 74.4% of his passes, 32 of which were touchdowns (with just 5 interceptions). This helped the Saints get to 13-3, good for the top seed in the NFC come playoff time. They easily handled the Eagles in their first game to face the Los Angeles Rams for a chance at a Super Bowl return. A tense game with some controversial late-game calls by the referees, the Saints would lose 26-23 in overtime.
2019 saw the Saints have yet another 13-3 season, but 5 of those games (all wins) were without Brees, who tore a ligament in his thumb in week 2. He returned in week 8 to put up great numbers against the Cardinals, and for his 11 starts had 27 touchdowns against just 4 touchdowns. The Saints, despite their record, had to settle for the 3 seed in the NFC. Facing the Vikings in the playoffs at home in the first round, Brees struggled a bit, passing for just 208 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings fought them tooth and nail, taking the game to overtime and ultimately knocking the Saints out with a stunning 26-20 victory.
How Much Does He Have Left in His Contract?
After the 2019 season, Brees was eligible to become a free agent. But when free agency began, the Saints wasted no time in bringing back their iconic quarterback, signing him to a 2-year, $50 million contract that includes a $23 million signing bonus.
Spotrac estimates that Brees, over the first 19 years of his career, earned more than $244.7 million. After finishing the duration of his latest contract, he would be above $294.7 million in career cash earnings through 2021. When that free agency period begins, Brees will be 43. Will he still be looking to play?
Drew Brees Commercials & Endorsements
As Drew Brees became an elite quarterback and the face of the Saints, his face started showing up on TV more and more - not just for primetime games, but in commercials too. Brees' persona as the likable leader of the Saints and a family man made him a favorite for companies looking for athletes for sponsoring.
Brees has appeared in commercials for a number of massive national companies, including Proctor & Gamble (for products such as NyQuil and DayQuil), Microsoft (for products like the Microsoft Surface and Xbox), Wrangler, Verizon, Monster and Visa.
Drew Brees House
Brees has been proud to call Louisiana his home ever since he signed his first contract with the Saints in 2006. Not long after the contract was officially signed, Brees and his family purchased a house in Uptown New Orleans. A 4-bedroom, 4,944-foot home, the house cost $1.5 million.
He hasn't played with the Chargers since 2005, but even though he's a Texas native who plays in New Orleans, Brees still calls California home part of the year. In the offseason, Brees spends a lot of his time in the upscale city of Del Mar in San Diego County. Brees has established himself as a mainstay in the Del Mar area, even recently bringing his Football 'N' America Youth Flag-Football League to the area. His sons play in the youth league in both New Orleans and Del Mar.