Drew Brees has said repeatedly this offseason that he has no interest in playing for any team other than the Saints. But with each passing day, Brees gets one day closer to his contract with the Saints expiring. Which means that with each passing day, we’re one day closer to some team being able — without risking a tampering violation — to try to convince Brees to leave.
And that brings us to the Browns.
New Browns G.M. John Dorsey has indicated that he wants to end the slow rebuild and win right away, and there’s no player who would more epitomize an effort to win right away than Brees. And the Browns could make an offer to Brees that would blow all other offers away.
The Browns are estimated to have a whopping $110 million in 2018 salary cap space, meaning they’re first in the league in cap space by more than $30 million. Cleveland could offer Brees an insane contract. Cleveland could sign him to a one-year, $50 million contract and the Browns would still have $60 million in cap space, which would still be more than all but four other teams.
Would Brees consider going to the Browns? Probably not. Remember, this is all hypothetical until Brees comes off his stance that he’s staying in New Orleans.
But Cleveland wouldn’t necessarily be as bad a destination as you might think the Browns’ 0-16 record makes them. If Brees were to sign with the Browns he’d have Joe Thomas protecting his blind side. He’d have Josh Gordon as his No. 1 receiver. And he’d have all the talent that the Browns’ remaining cap space could buy — and that’s before the Browns add even more talent in this year’s draft, when Cleveland has the first overall pick, the fourth overall pick, as well as picks No. 33, 35, 64 and 65.
The Browns are loaded with cap space and could be loaded with good young talent if Dorsey drafts well. Brees insists he’s not leaving New Orleans, but the Browns would be wise to prepare a huge offer, just in case a deal isn’t done by the time free agency begins.