NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - In the coming hours after New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees officially announced his retirement from the NFL after 20 seasons in the league, many of his current and former teammates shared their feelings on social media.
Brees top receiving target Michael Thomas over the past five seasons shared an emotional and hearfelt 900 word message to his Instagram.
Thomas and Brees set numerous records together and the most notable the single season receptions record for most in a season once held by Indianapolis Colt receiver Marvin Harrison. Thomas caught 149 passes in 2019 for 1,725 yards both career highs. He also was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2019.
You can read the full message below:
“Thank you Drew,
“Wow what an honor and a privilege these last 5 years have been for me to be blessed with the opportunity to line up and play on the same team as you. I can’t thank God enough for putting me in this position. See, long before I got to the league you were already a legend and an all time great QB. So, from the day the Saints drafted me, I knew my responsibility, and that was to maximize the window of opportunity and compere for championships.
Although we came up short on the main foal multiple times, I feel like we left out mark a few places and created some amazing memories we will always remember as we were able to do some really special things together. Just to be able to come into the NFL and immediately begin to chase a very real common goal with you is something I will forever cherish. Every day I felt it.
You play with that fire and passion. It’s very contagious. One of the biggest lessons I learned from you is how you always dust your knees off and get back up. See, you are resilient. I am resilient, and I love you for that. You are someone who makes others around you elevate their game. You were exactly who I needed coming in as a rookie with a chip on my shoulder.
You immediately accepted me for the competitor I am and I appreciate that. You allowed me to play on the edge for you. You kept me honest. You taught me about discipline without even using the word. You did it just by how you handled your business on and off the field. Man, I can go on and on. These 5 years have flown by. You make the game fun. You make the game real. You set the standard every day no matter if it was my rookie year or just this past season.
You always showed up and I witnessed it everyday. It encouraged me and made me want to catch every pass you threw to me. I’m humbled bro, I just hate that it had to come to an end and I couldn’t get you another ring. The mission is never easy and very seldom does it just go exactly your way, but I knew with 9 under center we always had a shot and everyone else around did as well.
You gave everyone hope. You are the rue definition of a leader. You are my hero and many others. From the off-season summers staying with you and training way before those Sundays, we were on a mission right away. There is just something about you that makes you 1 of 1. From those hot practices on Airline Boulevard, I would do anything to get another rep in with you because that’s how much you mean to me and how much pride I took in the opportunity to be your WR1.
To watch you attend Pro Bowls as a kid to becoming the first WR of your career to make the Pro Bowl and then get to play in multiple with you and even score a touchdown. We began to make those things normal early on. We broke so many NFL records together and set history that will live in Canton forever. The 2019-20 season was such a special year for my career and you had such a major part in it of course. To be able to break the record for most catches in a season in NFL history and also to become the second WR to win OPOY in NFL history after that season was amazing. Then to have you be able to present the award to me made it that much more special.
The list goes on and on, the things we accomplished and the records we set. You were my match, we were the best QB/WR duo for multiple years, despite only having a relatively short period of time together. We both took pride in that and in everything we did with our preparation. We really held one another accountable and corrected our mistakes immediately. You brought my competitive excellence to a whole new level. I knew you wanted it just as badly as me. Every game tour locker was always next to mine, home or away. Your level of focus was always something I tied to match. You are my f*****g ace. I could read your facial expressions and body language so well.
I’m going to miss you. I’m going to miss us taking over drives to help lead the team to victory. It felt like it was all in slow motion when we were clocking. Man, I’m sad it has to come to an end. You are just so special to me. You allowed me to feel a part of something bigger than myself. We took each other to levels I believe only we could have taken each other too. Your mindset and speeches you gave us as your teammates, every last one of them were special in their own way. You consistency was one of the most impressive things about you man. Some people are just built to play this game and without a question you are one of them. You’re an icon worldwide, but your my brother everyday. I love you and appreciate you.”
“Thank you Drew Breesy.”
Click here to report a typo.