Drew Brees

NFC South Notes: Saints, Brees, Panthers, Smith

Many have wondered how much longer Saints quarterback Drew Brees will continue to play, but GM Mickey Loomis says he isn’t stressing over the 40-year-old quarterback’s future.

You know, I don’t think we look at it that way anymore. I think we look at it in terms of, ‘Hey, this year,’ you know? And man, he had a great season last year, and we expect a great season this year,” Loomis said (via The Advocate). “And so for as long as he wants to play and can play, he’s going to have that opportunity.”

If Brees returns for 2020, he’ll might not have any worlds left to conquer. Already, the veteran has set new NFL all-time records for career completions and passing yards. Meanwhile, he’s just 20 career passing touchdowns away from vaulting past Peyton Manning‘s 539 mark.

The Saints will happily keep Brees as long as he’s playing at an elite level, but they will have to figure out his contractual situation in order to stay the course. As it stands, Brees is set to count for $21.3MM in dead money against the Saints’ cap in 2020, which may prompt the team to kick the can down the road with yet another contract adjustment.

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Saints Restructure Drew Brees’ Contract

The Saints are clearing up some cap space. New Orleans is restructuring Drew Brees‘ contract to give them some added flexibility in free agency, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Pelissero writes that the procedural move will clear up $10.8MM in cap space. Pelissero notes that the Saints needed to free up some immediate cash as they attempt to re-sign Teddy Bridgewater and prepare to host tight end Jared Cook. Pelissero also notes that it’s not going to effect Brees’ compensation, as he’ll still be due $23MM cash in 2019.

Instead, New Orleans just appears to be deferring a cap hit to the future. In a follow-up tweet, Pelissero explains that Brees’ contract is set to void after this season, and that the Saints will be left with $21.3MM in dead money, whether Brees returns for the 2020 season or not. Before this restructure, it was going to be $10.5MM in dead money.

It’s a big hit to take next season, but the Saints have move to makes. Bridgewater is having second thoughts about re-signing with the Saints, and met with the Dolphins yesterday. He appears to be leveraging the Dolphins to get more money from the Saints, and it’s working if this restructure is any indication. If the Saints are serious about signing Cook he isn’t going to come cheaply, which also helps explain this move.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Brees, Cardinals, Hall, Garoppolo

Drew Brees will carry an NFL-high $33.5MM cap charge in 2019, but the Saints could potentially make moves to reduce that hit, as Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com writes. “We’ll see what happens,” general manager Mickey Loomis said Wednesday. “We know it’s coming at some point, and we’ve kind of kicked the can down the road a number of times, haven’t we?” Indeed, New Orleans has pushed Brees’ cap charges into future years on multiple occasions. Just last year, Brees inked a two-year contract which includes a voidable year in 2020, which allowed the Saints to move $10.5MM of Brees’ commitment to that season’s books. As Loomis notes, New Orleans has “a lot of mechanisms to maneuver the cap,” so another extension or restructure could be in the offing.

Here is more from the NFC:

  • The 2018 season marked the first NFL campaign without DeAngelo Hall‘s involvement since 2003. The recently retired Redskins safety may be eyeing a return to the league as a coach. Hall said (via Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan, on Twitter) he interviewed for a position as Redskins secondary coach on Tuesday. The team, though, went with Ray Horton to oversee its defensive backs. Hall, 35, also could begin his coaching career at the college level, indicating he interviewed for a job on Maryland’s staff as well. After Hall passed on the Terrapins’ offer, in hopes of pursuing the Redskins’ position, the Big Ten program went in another direction (Twitter link via Brendan Darr of 106.7 The Fan). So, Hall remains an interesting coaching free agent.
  • Kliff Kingsbury already received a commitment from a 2004 first-round pick to help his offense, with Larry Fitzgerald re-signing with the Cardinals for 2019. Seeking more help for his first Arizona offense, Kingsbury met with another member of that ’04 first-round contingent. J.P. Losman interviewed for a position on the Cardinals’ offensive staff, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Currently serving as a Clemson staffer, Losman, 37, was a Bills first-rounder 15 years ago.
  • The 49ers may see their quarterback on the field by OTAs. That is the goal for a Jimmy Garoppolo re-emergence, John Lynch said on the RapSheet and Friends Podcast (via NFL.com). Lynch confirmed Garoppolo has not endured any setbacks on his recovery from a September ACL tear. This is the latest update indicating Garoppolo participating in OTAs was a realistic possibility.

Zach Links contributed to this report

Saints’ Drew Brees Plans On Playing In 2019

Things didn’t go the Saints’ way on Sunday and Drew Brees is determined to go out on a higher note. After the loss to the Rams, Brees told reporters that he plans on sticking around for at least one more season.

[RELATED: Saints TE Josh Hill Sustains Concussion]

I plan on being here next year and making another run at it,” Brees said (via Luke Johnson of the Times-Picayune).

Brees, who recently celebrated his 40th birthday, turned in one of his very best seasons to date. Brees completed an NFL record 74.4% of his throws and also had a career high in passer rating at 115.7. In the regular season, he threw for 32 touchdowns against just five interceptions and, if not for a controversial no-call on Sunday, he would be gearing up for an attempt at a second career Super Bowl ring.

Thanks to the two-year deal he signed with the Saints in March of last year, Brees is under contract for 2019 at a $33.5MM cap number. The Saints could seek an extension to smooth out the cap hit (and overhaul the voidable year in 2020), but New Orleans will be glad to have Brees back in any scenario.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints’ Drew Brees Has No Plans To Retire

Saints quarterback Drew Brees will turn 40 in January, but he isn’t looking to retire anytime soon. After leading the Saints to an overtime victory over the Falcons on Sunday, Brees told Peter King of NBC Sports that he wants to continue playing for the foreseeable future. 

I’m having a lot of fun playing still. I hope there are lots more years,” Brees said.

With another 418 passing yards, Brees will eclipse Peyton Manning‘s record for passing yardage. He can also top Manning’s passing TD record with another 46 scores. Major records are within reach, and Brees already owns a Super Bowl ring, but he sounds as motivated as ever to continue playing and winning.

I love to compete,” he said. “I love to work, I love to set a goal, embark on the journey and accomplish the task. So many incredible people in my life have put me in position to succeed. So many who have helped make me a confident person when maybe I was lacking in it in some parts of my life. So an accomplishment like this is for them too. A lot of receivers caught those passes. I hope they’re proud. This is for them, too. I’ve had the same head coach, Sean Payton, the same offensive coordinator, Pete Carmichael, for all my years here, and the same quarterback coach, Joe Lombardi, for 11 of the 13 years. This is for them, too.”

This offseason, Brees re-signed with the Saints on a two-year, $50MM deal without giving serious consideration to outside offers. His deal will expire after the 2019 season, but if Brees continues to play at a high level, his Saints career could extend into 2020 and beyond.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC South Rumors: Saints, Brees, Robinson

Drew Brees is back with the Saints on a two-year, $50MM deal that is arguably under market for what he provides. However, a deeper look at his contract shows some additional value. There is language in Brees’ deal that prevents the team from using the franchise tag on him after the 2019 season, according to Nick Underhill of The Times-Picayune (on Twitter).

This is familiar territory for the two parties. Brees’ previous deal also prohibited the Saints from using the tag on him, which forced New Orleans to negotiate a fresh contract with him this offseason.

Brees will be 41 in 2020 and there’s no guarantee that he’ll still be an elite QB or even willing to continue playing, But, if he is still at the top of his game, the Saints will have a little less leverage to work with.

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Contract Details: Brees, Butler, T. Johnson

Let’s take a look at the details from the latest contracts signed in the NFL, with all links going to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Drew Brees Turned Down Better Offer To Stay With Saints?

As expected, Drew Brees has re-signed with the Saints on a new deal. The contract — worth $50MM and containing $27MM in guarantees — isn’t exactly chump change, but Brees may have had better offers elsewhere.

At least one other team was willing to give Brees $60MM guaranteed over two years, according to Jeff Triplett of ESPN.com. However, there’s some conflicting word on that front. A league source tells Mike Florio of PFT that simply never happened.

The Vikings were among the teams to reach out to Brees, but they are reportedly on the verge of signing Kirk Cousins to a fully guaranteed three-year deal.

If the $60MM guaranteed offer is true, one has to wonder if it came from the Jets. Although luring Brees away from New Orleans was a Hail Mary, the Jets had to give it a shot given the uninspiring lot of backup options.

Since losing out on the top QBs in this year’s market, the Jets have re-upped Josh McCown and may still be eyeing Teddy Bridgewater. Brees, meanwhile, is back in New Orleans and ready to take another run at a Super Bowl ring.

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Saints, Drew Brees Agree To Two-Year Deal

The Saints have agreed to a two-year deal with quarterback Drew Brees, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The new pact is worth $50MM and contains $27MM in guarantees. The deal is technically for three years and $70MM, but the 2020 season will void and is in place only for salary cap purposes, tweets Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Additionally the 2019 season is an option year, and the deal contains a full no-trade clause, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Brees’ current contract with New Orleans will void on March 14, the first day of the 2018 league year, and if no new deal had been reached, the Saints would have incurred $18MM in dead money on their salary cap. By hammering out an extension, the Saints will keep that dead money total at a relatively manageable $6MM in 2018 while retaining their franchise quarterback.

Although he was allowed to speak to other clubs beginning on Monday, Brees was never seriously expected to leave New Orleans. However, he did reportedly speak with the quarterback-needy Vikings, which could have given him a bit of leverage in talks with the Saints.

While Brees didn’t post his typically gaudy offensive statistics in 2017, that was largely by design, as he attempted only 536 pass attempts, his lowest in a full 16-game slate since 2005 (his final year with the Chargers). New Orleans built an offense that doesn’t have to fully rely on Brees, as the club ranked first in rushing DVOA and second in pressure rate allowed. Buoyed by Mark IngramAlvin Kamara, and a strong offensive line, Brees ranked second in passer rating and adjusted net yards per attempt, and third in Football Outsiders‘ DVOA, which measures value on a per-play basis.

Brees expressed his desire to return to the Saints following their loss to the Vikings in the NFC Divisional playoffs. A contract that will give Brees $25MM annually will match Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in terms of average annual salary for third among NFL players, placing him behind Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ($27MM) and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5MM).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints, Drew Brees Working On Two-Year Deal

The Saints and quarterback Drew Brees are working on a two-year deal that could be completed today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Brees’ current contract with New Orleans will void on March 14, the first day of the 2018 league year, and if no new deal is reached, the Saints will incur $18MM in dead money on their salary cap. By hammering out an extension, the Saints will keep that dead money total at a relatively manageable $6MM in 2018 while retaining their franchise quarterback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.