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Drew Brees joins NBC Sports with a role on ‘Sunday Night Football’

Drew Brees, whose last game was a Jan. 17 playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will trade his helmet for a microphone. (Brynn Anderson/Associated Press)
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The search for the next Tony Romo in NFL broadcasts has landed on Drew Brees, who announced Monday morning on the “Today” show that he is joining NBC Sports.

Brees will work in studio on “Football Night in America,” the lead-in to “Sunday Night Football,” as well as analyze Notre Dame games, NBC announced in a statement.

“I’m going to be working for NBC. I’m part of the team now, a new team,” Brees said on “Today” a day after retiring as the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback, ending a 20-year playing career that will land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “I’m excited for that journey and to stay closely connected to the game of football, it’s been such an important part of my life.

“I continue to be able to talk about it and show a passion for it, and be able to bring my kids along for the ride there as well, and let them be part of those special moments.”

Saints quarterback Drew Brees announces his retirement from NFL

Brees’s move to NBC has been reported for the past year. The network is expected to transition its NFL broadcasts from Al Michaels, who reportedly will retire after the 2021 season, and Cris Collinsworth to Mike Tirico and, presumably, Brees.

Brees sounded ready to go on to the next chapter, saying his decision to retire from the Saints was a “process” he went through over the season. “That’s a decision that you don’t just wake up one day and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to retire.’”

“We’re excited to have Drew join our team,” Pete Bevacqua, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, said in a statement. “We know that Drew will apply the same work ethic and continuously positive attitude to everything he touches at NBC Sports and we know, as his new teammates, he’ll make us better.”

Romo has parlayed his career as the Dallas Cowboys quarterback into an extremely successful TV career, combining seemingly genuine enthusiasm with knowledge as well as an uncanny ability to predict plays. Nicknamed Romostradamus by broadcast partner Jim Nantz, he recently turning down other offers to stay with CBS and taking a long-term deal reported to exceed $17 million annually.

Brees, 42, retired as the NFL’s career leader in passing yards and completions and second in career touchdown passes and completion percentage. A certain first-ballot choice for the Pro Football Hall of Fame following the required five-year wait, Brees made his announcement in a written statement posted to social media with a video in which his four children proclaimed that he “is finally going to retire so he can spend more time with us,” followed by their cheers.

Brees explained his approach to football to NBC’s Peter King a few years ago and it’s one that he seems likely to use in his next job.

“So much of our league is about results, right?” he said in a comment King relayed in his “Football Morning in America” column. “We’re in a results-driven business. But truly, it is about the process. If you focus on the process, the result will take care of itself. So, simply that: Develop what your process is. Focus on that process. Too many times, we get frustrated because the result didn’t match up with the process. But if you just focus on the process, eventually you get to the point where good process will consistently equal good result.”