Will another team make a run at Drew Brees?

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees has said, repeatedly, that he plans to stay with the team for which he has played for 12 years. The Saints, so far, have said nothing about the process for signing Brees to a new contract.

Here’s the process, as a practical matter. The Saints eventually will decide what they can/will pay to Brees, and they’ll offer it to him. (He’ll count at least $18 million against the team’s cap in 2018, regardless of whether he re-signs.) In the interim, other teams will be able (despite the rarely-enforced tampering rules) to make sure agent Tom Condon realize what else may be out there for Brees, if he chooses to make leave a tree.

Surely, it would take a lot more than the Saints would offer to get Brees to leave. But with Brees, an astute businessman far closer to Peyton Manning than Tom Brady on the “it’s not my job to manage your salary cap” scale, declaring his intention to stay put, maybe he’s testing the team to see whether a lowball offer will be extended, based on his public statements of an intention to stay put.

Brees will know, if he doesn’t already, what another team (or teams) would pay. And he’ll know the moment the Saints communicate their last, best offer whether he’ll be sticking around.

When Brees signed a one-year extension before the 2016 season, he made it clear that he wouldn’t be signing another one. Apart from the fact that he never negotiates during football season, when he’s all-in and laser-focused on the task at hand, Brees surely wanted to see where the market goes before gauging his own value.

So what is his value? Matthew Stafford (also represented by Condon) makes $27 million per year, and he’s never won a playoff game. Derek Carr makes $25 million a year, and he’s never played in a playoff game. What is Brees worth in comparison to them?

He turned 39 on Monday. But he’s showing no signs of wear and/or tear. He could play at least two more years at a high level, maybe longer.

Other teams without a franchise quarterback realize these dynamics (if they don’t, they need new decision-makers), and they undoubtedly are factoring Brees into their potential plans for 2018. Setting aside the teams with no real chance to contend at a high level in 2018 (Browns), let’s consider the teams that already could be making discreetly known to Condon the amount of cash they’d deposit into Brees’ coffers.

Broncos: They need both a quarterback and, perhaps more importantly, a leader. A guy who can pull the locker room together, holding players accountable on both sides of the ball. Peyton Manning did that. Brees is one of the few currently in the NFL who can.

Cardinals: They desperately need a quarterback. (First, they need a coach.) And with running back David Johnson, receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and a roster that generated an 8-8 record despite a slew of injuries, Brees could be the ingredient to a potential Super Bowl run.

Jets: While they need plenty of pieces to become contenders, Brees would lift them to a higher level, instantly. While it may not be enough to get them past the Patriots, it would be fun to watch.

Jaguars: If they don’t make it to the Super Bowl (or if they make it and lose), the Jags could decide that the key ingredient to getting over the hump will be getting a new quarterback. A better quarterback. A first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback. A Drew Brees.

Dolphins: They could have had him 12 years ago, but they decided to trade for a guy with a wrecked knee over signing a guy who was recovering from shoulder surgery. Though Ryan Tannehill remains the guy in Miami, would coach Adam Gase feel differently if Brees was interested in doing what the Dolphins didn’t want to do in 2006?

Vikings: Yes, the Vikings. If faced with the prospect of tagging Case Keenum at $23 million for 2018, how much more would they pay for the guy who led the Saints back from 17-0 in the second half? It would be a ballsy, all-in move, identical to the one that the Vikings made nine years ago, when they signed Brett Favre and nearly got back to the Super Bowl. With a balanced team on both sides of the ball, Brees could be the difference.

Despite the word salad that you (hopefully) just consumed, it remains unlikely that Brees will play for another team. Until he does, however, the chance of a late-career change of venue lingers. And the possibilities for Brees changing teams for the second time in his career remain fascinating.

43 responses to “Will another team make a run at Drew Brees?

  1. If case beats the eagles and leads the Vikes to a Super Bowl, I think they will sign him to a short term deal. If the Vikes lose, it becomes a bit more tricky to say what they will do in regards to the QB position. Either way, Case will get a decent contract to go somewhere. He has earned it!

  2. .
    Brees has made nearly 200 million during his NFL career. It would seem insane for him to uproot his life in pursuit of money he doesn’t need. Let’s not forget that the young Saints should be legitimate playoff contenders for the foreseeable future.
    .

  3. The Jags is the most-interesting possibility you present, by a wide margin.

    Vikings don’t want Brees… shoot, they’ve got an absolutely fantastic QB situation as it is!

  4. He’s crazy to leave New Orleans, unless there is stuff happening inside the building that he is getting sick & tired of.

    There’s been many years, a Superbowl season & string of playoff runs, but its been a long time since the Saints nabbed him with minimal concern for his shoulder.

  5. @6ball, I totally agree with you, if he were to leave for more money, then all of the respect I now have for him would be gone…a Saints fan.

  6. I mean I understand his love of N.O. and think he’ll always be a hero there no matter what happens, but if you’re a top 3 QB why not go to a team with a top 3 defense to boot?

    Honestly if he goes to Denver, Jacksonville or Minnesota wouldn’t they immediately become favorites to win a super bowl?

    At 39 shouldn’t that be the question Drew asks himself?

  7. My first thought was it makes no difference who comes calling because outside of a legit shot to own a division that makes getting a ring easier why would he leave the devil he knows for one he doesn’t? Looking at the list of teams kind of reinforces that. All of the teams mentioned either have a lot of needs, are facing brutally competitive divisions or both. All that is with the exception of Arizona, not a lot of needs there and a division in transition…

  8. cobrala2 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Vikings don’t want Brees… shoot, they’ve got an absolutely fantastic QB situation as it is!
    _________________________________________

    The only QB the Vikings have under contract for ’18 is Kyle Sloter. That’s the 1st time I have heard a team that will see all 3 of it’s top QB’s contracts expire at the end of the season described as as having “an absolutely fantastic QB situation.”

  9. no wear or tear? did you not see the deep shot attempt to ginn in the first half of last weeks game? significantly short, and intercepted, and put everything in to that throw. he needs a dome or really good weather to play in, and still will only throw 15 yard passes at most. father time is collecting an easy w next season off this guy.

  10. I don’t want Brees on the Vikings for two reasons. First, it’s time to get a franchise QB that is in the long term plans. Second, it’s bad enough having to watch him lick his hands 30,000 times a game twice a year, not doing it 16+ times a year.

  11. commentawaitingdeletion says:
    January 19, 2018 at 10:55 am
    cobrala2 says:
    January 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Vikings don’t want Brees… shoot, they’ve got an absolutely fantastic QB situation as it is!
    _________________________________________

    The only QB the Vikings have under contract for ’18 is Kyle Sloter. That’s the 1st time I have heard a team that will see all 3 of it’s top QB’s contracts expire at the end of the season described as as having “an absolutely fantastic QB situation.”
    __________

    They can also take their pick of which one or two they want to keep. If they want to keep Keenum, they will. They’ll probably keep Bridgewater too, because who is going to offer him a big contract after missing two years? If you think the Vikings’ chosen guy is going to leave for another situation, you probably believe Brees is going to leave New Orleans.

  12. Don’t think for a second that horseface won’t be desperate enough to throw half of Denver at Brees. He’d do anything to try and mask his complete ineptitude at the QB position.

  13. Mike Florio, Why not include Buffalo on your list of potential offers to Brees? The Bills will be moving on from Tyrod Taylor this year and would likely prefer a veteran over a rookie under center.

  14. He could win in Denver, but that would be a bit odd since Peyton already did this. Arizona wouldn’t really be smart because the division is going to be tough. Only teams I could see it happen with are Minny, Jacksonville, or finish it up in NO.

  15. Unless Sean Payton is part of the deal, forget about it. Brees looked lost when Payton was suspended.

  16. Well, Brees wasn’t enough to get it done with all the money he has made and all the years in the same system with the same coach until he stopped throwing so much and they elected to have a more balanced approach. And even then they could not win the big one. This my friends is a clue-for those who don’t think the high priced QB’s are killing their respective teams SB chances need to reevaluate. The new rookie deal contracts and low price free agent QB’s are a much better value which allows you to throw money all around your team. In todays NFL it takes way more than an elite QB to win SB’s. In fact, how many rings does Aaron Rodgers have? You need a smart coach and a SUPER defense and talented receiving corps. Which is NOT possible if the QB’s are overpaid. Take a page from Tom Brady. No one should expect to win a SB and pay their QB MORE than Tom is making. Period.

  17. I think the Vikings make a lot of sense as a destination. They have three quarterbacks that have the potential to play in the NFL that they could trade as part of the package. I keep hearing how deep the roster is, so I assume there are some second tier players they could bundle in as well. And certainly breeze is at elite quarterback, while the best you can say about the others they might be “elite” the making.

  18. Idk why drew would ever want to leave. He’s so, so good at turning a blind eye at his HC’s antics & deliberate bounty program. Solid gold.

  19. In Teddy We Trust says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:10 am

    If you think the Vikings’ chosen guy is going to leave for another situation, you probably believe Brees is going to leave New Orleans.
    ___________________________________________

    What I said was having all the QB’s contracts expiring was not “an absolutely fantastic QB situation” are you somehow saying it is? I didn’t so much as infer the Vikings wouldn’t be able to keep one. I also don’t believe any of the teams in need of a QB present Brees a better situation than he already has but AZ comes closest. With the cap hit NO is taking for Brees already it’s hard to believe anyone else is going to woo him away without the Saints putting up a substantial fight. The pending $18M cap hit if he walks is a heck of an incentive.

  20. ragnarthegreat says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:34 am
    I think the Vikings make a lot of sense as a destination. They have three quarterbacks that have the potential to play in the NFL that they could trade as part of the package.
    _____________________________________

    And what three QB’s would that be? They can’t trade someone they don’t have under contract. The purples must make real Vikings fans as crazy as the bandwagon idiots make real Pats fans, smdh.

  21. Breese is a classy human being, and should distance himself from a disgraceful and mean spirited coach, who is more focused on taunting players and fans of other teams, than coaching his own team.

  22. This might be a seriously unpopular take.

    I don’t eschew anyone from making as much money as possible and leveraging their position in the NFL or any job, Lord knows i have operated like that.

    But with the raising salaries at some positions, especially QB- and each deal topping the last one every time a QB signs a new contract and being absolutely crippling to the cap I honestly think it’s time that positions have a salary cap. It doesn’t even need to be per position, just a blanket cap saying what the max salary a player can make is.

    Deadspin just had a great article about how you can have a good QB or a good team, not both.

    when you pay a guy 20+ mill like my lions are doing with stafford, it’s nearly impossible to retain talent in other areas you might develop or sign free agents.

  23. Could you structure a deal in which if he hits certain records over the next two seasons instead of a salary bonus he gets that $10M or whatever paid out as a stake in the franchise?

    I’m certain it would need to be approved by the ownership committee a la Gruden rumors, and there would be salary cap implications, but to cement a guy like Brees as a piece of the franchise, a 0.5% ownership stake would be worth it.

  24. If it weren’t for one bad attempted tackle, Brees would have great shot at getting to a Super Bowl.

    He’s not going anywhere.

    Ask him what he wants to do – and make it so.

  25. Oh Please Aints had a fluke year, just like the cowboys the year before. Drew is not even relevant anymore and not even worth that much.

  26. Couple of things: 1) Why aren’t the BILLS on the list of interested teams? Once Tyrod is cut the BILLS will be 6th in the league with cap space. 2) You cannot say Brees has at least 2 more years in him at age 39. So far, 4 QBs in the league have put up really good seasons after 39: Warren Moon, Peyton Manning, Brett Farve and Tom Brady. 3 of those 4 guys dropped like a stone the next year and were done. Father time is undefeated, we do not know how soon he catches up to Brady, Brees, Roetheisberger, Manning, and Rivers but it won’t be long…

  27. He turned 39 on Monday. But he’s showing no signs of wear and/or tear. He could play at least two more years at a high level, maybe longer.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Rubbish. His arm strength is noticeably weaker.

  28. Brees was third in the league on passes that travelled 25+ yards. Arm strength and accuracy isn’t a problem with Brees. Every QB, even Rodgers and Brady, miss deep passes.

  29. “Mike Florio, Why not include Buffalo on your list of potential offers to Brees? The Bills will be moving on from Tyrod Taylor this year and would likely prefer a veteran over a rookie under center.”

    Because sadly, we all know how poor the ownership in Buffalo is. Fans are great, ownership notsomuch.

  30. The Saints’ success wasn’t all about Brees. There was great balance and I’d hardly call what Kamara & Ingram did a fluke, and especially with the offensive line shuffling that New Orleans did..practically all season long. Dallas had virtually an All-Pro offensive line, so I don’t know if this is an apples-to-apples comparison.

  31. Jim McMahon…warren moon…Jeff George…. Randall Cunningham Bubby Brister…think the Vikings should be done with QBs like these.

  32. “The Satins, so far, have said nothing about the process for signing Brees to a new contract.”

    Part of methinks the typo was intentional…

  33. If the Saints sucked I could see him leaving, but they don’t. There would have to be some serious behind the scenes dysfunction for him to bolt,.

  34. The Redskins should make an offer. The tag on Cousins would be $34 million, and if you’re going to pay any quarterback that much, it would be better to get Brees than Cousins. Even if it was just a two or three year deal to “get there” and then go to someone better for the long term

  35. You’re correct Drew Brees does not manage the salary cap for the Saints. However most QB’s that have survived with great success in the NFL know that to excel at 39 or any age support is needed to win.

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