Brees set all kinds of passing records during his time with the Saints but that’s not why he’s on this list. He held on for too long in New Orleans to the starting jersey when he should have retired. His final season saw him suffer a stream of injuries and throw interceptions like they were going out of fashion.
Things go wrong very quickly for even the best quarterbacks because age catches up with them. It’s cruel and there’s nothing that they can do about it. Arguably, an earlier parting of ways would have been kinder for both Brees and the Saints (via USA Today Sports).
Newton had one of the great NFL seasons in 2015 when he won the MVP award. However, his decline was stark and he became a free agent after leaving the Panthers. Unfortunately, he hung on for too long and failed to retire. He signed contracts with the Patriots and returned to Carolina but it didn’t work out.
That’s because his body failed him and he couldn’t stay fit. Newton went 13-24 in his final starts for the two teams as his form deteriorated. It’s a shame to see such a gifted athlete suffer such a downturn in performance. But sometimes it’s impossible to recapture the old magic (via Sports Illustrated).
It didn’t have to be like this for Brady because he had nothing left to prove. The quarterback gave up his wife because he held on for too long to his football career. His supermodel spouse Gisele Bundchen lost patience with the 45-year-old star after he came out of retirement to play another season (via FOX News).
However, it was pointless because the Buccaneers haven’t played well at all under new head coach Todd Bowles. Brady successfully created a fairytale when he won his seventh Super Bowl ring in his debut season with the team two years ago. But he risked devastating injuries and long-term trauma by continuing past his prime.