UPDATE: Drew Brees will remain with the Saints, as he’s signed a deal for two more seasons worth $50 million. Taysom Hill was given a first-round tender, which should push him into the lead for the starting job once Brees retires.
The #Saints agree to terms with QB Drew Brees, source said. He gets a 2-year deal worth roughly $50M. Never in doubt, but now done. And Brees took less to help the team continue to build.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2020
We could be looking at one of the biggest free agency periods in recent memory if some of the notable names actually hit the open market. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Derrick Henry are just a few of the big names set to hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year opens on March 18th. One or more stands a good chance of signing a contract with their current team before then, but there is a chance one or more is taking calls when the tampering period opens on March 16th.
2019 in review
Drew Brees faced some adversity in 2019, but remained one of the NFL’s elite passers. He missed five games early in the year after suffering a thumb injury on his throwing hand and had Teddy Bridgewater fill in for him while he recovered. New Orleans remained strong without the face of the franchise and finished 2019 atop the NFC South with a 13-3 record. Brees had a down year in passing yards (2,979) because of the number of games he missed, but still managed to throw 27 touchdown passes with just four interceptions. He also notched a career high quarterback rating of 116.3 while leading the league in completion percentage (74.3%) for a third straight season.
The only reason a team wouldn’t want Brees is the fact that he’ll almost certainly sign a one-year contract in 2020. The teams that might consider signing him for a single season aren’t serious threats to contend for a championship, and that’s out of the question for Brees. The veteran signal caller could demand a hefty price on the open market, but the chances of him being forced to explore the free agency market are slim to none.
Brees has already announced that he’s committed to spend at least one more season with New Orleans via Instagram, and it’s only a matter of time before he and Saints brass hash out a deal for the 2020 season. There’s no official news on New Orleans’ response right now, but it’s hard not to see mutual interest regarding the possibility of a continued partnership with Brees. His strong relationship with the Saints players, coaches, ownership, and dedication to the franchise is enough to deter third parties from stepping in.
Do the Saints want to keep him?
New Orleans’ executive/general manager Mickey Loomis said last month that he wants Brees to continue being his team’s starting quarterback moving forward. Loomis said Brees “continues to be a good player” each year he plays for the Saints, and he’s not wrong. There’s no clear upgrade that can be made at the quarterback position, and Brees knows the system better than anyone else. After all, he’s been with the team since 2006.
Brees might be an older quarterback, but he’s far from falling off a cliff. He looked just as good as he always has in the 11 games he played this year and still has all of his top weapons alongside him. Michael Thomas is fresh off a year in which he recorded 1,725 receiving yards and broke the NFL’s single-season record for receptions (149). Tight end Jared cook and running back Alvin Kamara will also be back in the fold. This makes it hard to see Brees outside of the top 10 in terms of fantasy production for quarterbacks. If he does drop below that, it won’t be by much.
Brees’ return to the Saints is all but a done deal. The only thing that remains to be seen is the details of what could be his final NFL contract. Had Brees not been steadfast about his intentions for his football future, maybe there would be some rumors to talk about. But that’s not the case here.
Update 3/5 — Brees went on The Greg Hill Show and reiterated his commitment to New Orleans, saying, “Listen, I have no intention of going anywhere. I don’t care what the offer would be or what the situation might be, I am Who Dat Nation for life.”