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Drew Brees reveals why his 4 kids didn't want him to retire

Brees and his wife, Brittany, have three sons and a daughter together.
/ Source: TODAY

When Drew Brees first started thinking about retiring from football, he decided to run the idea by his kids. Little did he know they'd have some pretty strong opinions on the matter.

In a new interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the former New Orleans Saints quarterback looked back on his decision to walk away from the NFL and revealed that it took his four children a bit of time to warm up to the idea. Brees and wife Brittany are parents to sons Baylen, 12, Bowen, 10, and Callen, 8, and daughter Rylen, 6.

NFL: AUG 17 Preseason - Cardinals at Saints
Drew Brees with his sons during an NFL preseason football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals in August 2018 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.Steven Lew / Getty Images / Getty Images

"Last year, before this 2020 season, I'm driving in the car with the family, and Brittany and I had talked about it a little bit, and I said 'Boys, what would you think if Dad wasn't gonna play football anymore?' And they're like, 'What do you mean?'" Brees told DeGeneres.

"They're like, 'Noooo, you can't retire! We're not gonna be able to go to the games anymore, we're not gonna be able to go to the Saints facility,'" the father of four recalled.

The 42-year-old, who's joining NBC Sports as a football analyst, then explained to his kids that if he was retired, he'd have a lot more time to spend with them. But they still weren't convinced.

"They pause. 'Nooo, keep playing!'" Brees laughed.

But with time, the football player's kids became a lot more open to the idea of him retiring.

"Same conversation came up this off-season, and they just looked at me and said, 'OK, Dad, we're ready,'" he told DeGeneres.

Earlier this month, Brees announced that he would be officially retiring from the NFL after 20 years.

In his interview with DeGeneres, Brees revealed that he gave his kids one last hurrah on the field after his last football game.

"We actually stayed after the game, brought the kids on the field, and literally they had to turn the lights out on us at about midnight. The kids ran around for three hours, and Brit and I just looked at each other like, 'This may be the last time, let's just let them soak it all up,'" he said.

Following his retirement news, the athlete chatted with TODAY's Hoda Kotb about his decision to retire, explaining that it took him a few years before he officially made the move.

“I’ve approached the last four seasons with that mentality of I’m just gonna pour everything I have into the season, and then I’ll give myself at least a little while after the season to soak it in with my family and my wife, Brittany, and then make a very thoughtful decision,” he said.