The New Orleans Saints haven’t shown any signs of planning to move on at quarterback from Drew Brees. However, it’s been quite a while since the two sides have had any sort of contact regarding a new deal, which is a bit perplexing for the NFL’s passing yards leader.
Brees is entering the final season of his current deal, coming with a cap hit of $30 million. Brees and his team received an offer in March from the Saints, and countered shortly after. Later on, the Saints approached Brees about restructuring his deal so they can try and fit Josh Norman in. That didn’t work, Norman went and signed with the Washington Redskins, and since then, according to Brees, there’s been nothing going on between him and the organization he’s been playing for since 2006.
The Saints probably want to see how Brees, 37, will play this season. While Joe Flacco and Andrew Luck received big extensions this offseason, the Saints are probably cautious about giving Brees an extension that will include a huge chunk of guaranteed money ($60 million), which means having him past the 39th birthday. With Peyton Manning retired, Brees is going to be the second oldest starting quarterback in the NFL behind Tom Brady.
Brees has mentioned that not having a deadline makes things move slowly, but personally, he sees the beginning of the season, week 1, as his deadline, saying more than once in the past that he doesn’t want to negotiate during the season. He doesn’t mind if during training camp or even preseason talks are behind held, he can stand the distraction. But if there’s no deal struck by the time the Saints take the field on September 11, it’s a contract year for Brees.
He has been bothered by injuries over the last two seasons while the Saints have missed the playoffs, going 7-9 both years. But Brees posted a 101.0 passer rating and 75.47 QBR in 2015, leading the NFL in passing yards for the sixth time in his career despite playing only 15 games. While he may not be at his best, which was around 2009-2013, he’s still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, on a Saints team that would be in big trouble without him, unless they’re already prepared for the day after he retires or leaves.