It’s been more than four weeks since the Saints’ season ended. Exactly four weeks from today, the free-agency period opens.
For now, Saints quarterback Drew Brees still has no contract.
Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune takes a look at the situation, acknowledging the reality that, despite Brees’ repeated proclamations that he won’t leave the Saints, it’s nevertheless possible that a lowball offer from the team will prompt Brees to consider offers from other teams.
With the quarterback market already reaching a new high-water mark this month (Jimmy Garoppolo has pushed it to $27.5 million per year) and more on the way, Brees will be in line for more and more money, the longer the Saints wait.
Even with a cap charge of $18 million right out of the gates due to money paid under his prior contracts, it will be relatively easy to pay Brees $25 million in 2018 — and it will be very difficult to take the position that he’s not worth it.
One approach for the Saints could be to simply ask Brees to propose a fair deal. The risk, of course, would be that Brees may submit to the team a far different version of “fair” than how the Saints would characterize it, making a tricky situation even trickier.
It’s still nearly inconceivable to envision Brees playing for any team other than the Saints. Regardless, the clock continues to tick, the free-agency period continues to loom, and no deal has been done. Until a new deal is signed, a chance remains that Brees will decide to explore what else is out there and, possibly, to become the latest franchise quarterback to make a late-career franchise change — regardless of what he has said in the past about staying where he’s been since 2006.