Drew Brees left NBC Sports over 'lifestyle choice,' network chairman confirms
Drew Brees is officially out at NBC Sports, one month after it was reported he was leaving, and the reason apparently isn't a different job.
NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua confirmed to the Associated Press that Brees will make no appearances on the network's NFL or Notre Dame broadcasts this season, citing the former New Orleans Saints quarterback's desire to spend more time with family.
From the AP:
“The unbelievable busyness of an NFL career and then really not taking a break at all and launching right in with us with both Notre Dame football and the NFL, it was certainly an around-the-clock assignment,” Bevacqua said. “This was definitely a lifestyle choice for him, which is totally understandable.”
Brees previously deflected a New York Post story on him leaving as "speculation," but the only real speculation had been where he would end up. Many assumed he would consider the Fox Sports No. 2 color commentator job opened up by Troy Aikman's defection to ESPN and Greg Olsen's promotion to the No. 1 job.
Instead, Brees will spend more of his retirement with his family, though Bevacqua did say his network wouldn't intervene if Brees, who remains under contract with NBC, pursued another broadcasting opportunity.
As for who will replace Brees on Notre Dame games and in the NFL studio, Bevacqua reportedly told the AP that NBC Sports is close to a final decision.
It has been an offseason defined by every other major broadcaster jumping to another network, with one network even making a nine-figure deal for the future, and some moves are still coming. NBC has to replace Brees much earlier than it could have imagined (to say nothing of what the network hoped he would do for them in the future), and the No. 2 Fox spot remains vacant.