Let’s have a look at some Saints-related news that has come across the wire this morning, news that includes some of the biggest names in New Orleans:
- Drew Brees may be under contract through 2016, but according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), Brees will not be back with the club next season unless he “takes a hometown discount.” As a result of the contract restructure that Brees and the Saints worked out in September, the veteran signal-caller will carry an exorbitant $30MM cap number in 2016–the highest in the league–so it was inevitable that the two sides would have to revisit Brees’ deal in the coming months. The team could reduce that cap number via an extension, but given the team’s uncertain future, a release or trade may be more likely options. As former NFL agent Joel Corry tweets, the term “hometown discount” is not in Brees’ agent Tom Condon’s vocabulary.
- Rapoport adds (via Twitter) that there is some frustration among the Saints brass that Brees “maximized his contract” when he inked a five-year, $100MM deal prior to the 2012 season, a contract that has limited the club’s roster flexibility. Needless to say, it is difficult to blame a player for accepting money that a team willingly offers him.
- Rapoport asked sources close to head coach Sean Payton whether Payton would leave New Orleans at the end of the season, and those sources told Rapoport “never say never” (Twitter link). Team executives believe Payton is searching for a potential landing spot in case his time with the Saints is, in fact, coming to an end, and Rapoport tweets that Payton himself has privately mentioned the Chargers as a possibility. Albert Breer of the NFL Network names the Colts and whatever team(s) that end up in Los Angeles as the most likely destinations (Twitter link).
- Meanwhile, if Payton does leave the Saints next year, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports believes Jaguars offensive line coach Doug Marrone could be the team’s top choice to replace him.
- Saints owner Tom Benson has announced that he has no intention of retiring or selling the Saints, per Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. Benson has been involved in a bitter legal dispute with his estranged daughter and grandchildren since he announced plans in January to will control of the Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans to his third wife, Gayle Benson.