Drew Brees has said it. Sean Payton has said it. Mickey Loomis has said it. Brees is, and will continue to be, a Saint.
But here we are, seven weeks and one day removed from his team’s last game of the season and nine days away from the launch of free agency, and Brees still doesn’t have a contract. The Scouting Combine isn’t over yet (it almost is), which means there’s still a chance a contract will be hammered out before Loomis and agent Tom Condon leave Indianapolis.
Still, the clock is ticking, in two ways. First, as of next Monday, Brees officially can entertain offers from other teams. Second, as of next Wednesday, the $18 million in dead money remaining from his most recent extension hits the cap for 2018; an extension is needed in order to keep the charge for bonuses paid in the past at $6 million this year, $6 million next year, and $6 million in 2020.
Condon surely has learned during his discussions with other teams whether other teams would like to make a run at Brees and, if so, what another team would pay.
Not surprisingly, there have been no leaks about other teams being interested in Brees. With the Saints intent on keeping him, and with Brees supposedly intent on staying, there’s no reason to get a fan base excited about the possibility of a first-ballot Hall of Famer joining the chase for a championship. But any team thinking about paying big money to Kirk Cousins should be thinking about paying the same, if not more, to Brees — one of the best quarterbacks of all time and a guy who has proven time and again that he can move the ball consistently and effectively.
The two teams that presumably would interest Brees the most are the Vikings and Broncos, if for some reason the Saints can’t or won’t put the kind of offer on the table that either of those teams should rush to compile. And while there’s still no specific reason to envision Brees swapping his fleur-de-lis for some other helmet decal, each passing day without news of a new deal for Drew will make the small chance of a departure slightly bigger.
At this point, each passing day of silence from Brees, who lasted posted a message on his Twitter page more than two weeks ago, will become slightly more deafening.
Which undoubtedly means that reports will emerge at some point today that a deal with the Saints has been finalized.