Saints quarterback Drew Brees has a $19.75 million salary this season and a whopping $30 million cap hit, the biggest cap hit in the NFL. The Saints would like to get a new deal done to lower that cap hit and extend Brees beyond this season.
But will Brees play ball? He has a lot of leverage: He could simply tell the Saints that he’ll play out his contract and hit free agency a year from now.
The Saints, however, don’t think Brees is going to do that. Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis said last week that he’s confident Brees will agree to a new deal, and head coach Sean Payton reiterated that confidence in an interview with Mike Florio on Thursday at the Scouting Combine.
“I believe strongly that that will be taken care of here very, very soon, and uneventfully,” Payton said of Brees’ contract. “I know that there will be some type of extension worked out.”
Payton added that he’s more focused on improving the defense, noting that the Broncos showed that the way to win a Super Bowl is to get to the other team’s quarterback, and the Saints need to get better at that.
Payton is obviously right that the Saints need to improve their defense, which was a disaster last year. It’s going to be hard to improve that defense, however, without lowering Brees’ $30 million cap hit. That’s something the Saints want to get done soon.