South Notes: Saints, Colts, Hoyer, Wright

Some inside the Saints organization view Drew Brees‘ contract as an albatross that’s hampered their ability to progress, Ian Rapoport of reports (via Conor Orr of

The Saints are over the cap going into the offseason for the second straight year and may have to part with more veterans as a result. Brees will be due a $30MM cap hold in 2016, a number that will likely be renegotiated if the soon-to-be-16th-year quarterback is to return for an 11th season in New Orleans.

The 36-year-old Brees enters the final year of the five-year, $100MM deal he inked in 2012.

Here are some more items from the Southern divisions during Week 16’s penultimate game.

  • NFL executives aren’t ruling out Sean Payton going back on his word on returning to New Orleans for an 11th season, per Rapoport. A path out of the Big Easy for Payton is a potential trip to Los Angeles. Payton’s daughter attends USC, and Rapoport believes a union with Philip Rivers would make sense if the Chargers move north and opt not to bring back Mike McCoy for a fourth year.
  • The Colts‘ pair of middle-aged starters appear to be heading in divergent directions, with Adam Vinatieri looking set to come back for a 21st season and Matt Hasselbeck appearing prepared to retire after his 18th year, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star writes. Hasselbeck left a game due to injury for the fourth straight week. Both are free agents after the season, but Colts punter Pat McAfee insists the 43-year-old Vinatieri will suit up next season.
  • Hasselbeck does not sound optimistic when referring to his chances at making another start this season, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. With the Colts almost certainly out of the playoff picture, Charlie Whitehurst or Stephen Morris could get the call in Week 17.
  • Despite Brandon Weeden‘s surprising work keeping the Texans in front in the division, Bill O’Brien will go back to Brian Hoyer once the veteran is able to return from the concussion he suffered, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
  • Kendall Wright appears likely to be shut down for the Titans‘ Week 17 game against the Colts after the fourth-year wide receiver reinjured his MCL, Terry McCormick of reports. Wright left Sunday’s game in the first half when doctors determined he could endure a further setback by continuing to play on the injury that cost him three games in November. Wright’s set to enter his fifth-year option season in 2016 and will do so coming off by far his worst year as a pro.
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