Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are working on a four-year contract extension, according to ESPN‘s Ed Werder. The deal would keep him in a New Orleans Saints uniform through the 2020 season. Brees has only one year left on his current contract.
Brees told Matt Moscona of 104.5-FM ESPN Baton Rouge that he hopes to end his career in New Orleans, but not for a while.
“I think I’ve got a lot of good years left,” Brees said. When the proposed extension ends, he will be 41-years old. And only three months ago, The Inquisitr‘s Danny Cox wrote that Brees and coach Sean Payton may have had their last game at home as Saints.
Brees has been an iron man on the field. He’s missed two games in his 10 years with the Saints, but only one because of a shoulder injury in Week 3 last year, against Carolina. Despite the shoulder – and a foot injury he played through in Week 15 – Brees posted one of his finest statistical seasons. He led the NFL with 4,870 passing yards and 32 touchdowns, against only 11 interceptions, earning a 101.0 passer rating.
However, the Saints managed only a 7-9 record in 2015, and third place in the weak NFC South despite Brees’ gaudy numbers. The 37-year-old also took 31 sacks, the second-highest total of his career. Their last playoff appearance was a 23 to 15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in 2013. Brees took 37 sacks that year.
Then again, he threw for 5,162 yards, 39 TD, and a 104.7 passer rating.
The question of how much more punishment an aging veteran quarterback can take is difficult to answer. Brees has only missed one game, but how many times has he played while injured, as in the Week 15 game against Detroit?
NOLA believes left tackle Terron Armstead will protect Brees’ blind side well in 2016. He was the only lineman to earn an “A” grade from them, though. The rest of the offensive line’s play in 2015 was spotty at best.
Money plays a part as always, especially the structuring of the proposed extension. New Orleans signed free agents James Laurinaitis and Jamarca Sanford. According to Jeff Duncan of NOLA, the Saints were only $1.5 million under the salary cap at the time. If the team was thinking of shoring up the offensive line with a free agent, restructuring Brees’ salary would be a good first step. The extension would wipe out his $30 million hit from their salary cap. They also have the number 12 pick in the upcoming draft to consider.
Head coach Sean Payton’s new contract might appeal to Brees, too. Payton just signed a five-year deal.
Payton came to the Saints in 2006, the same year as Brees. Together they steered their team to the playoffs after New Orleans slogged through a 3-13 season the year before. Payton was suspended for the 2012 season for his alleged involvement in the infamous bounty scandal. That year, under interim coach Aaron Kromer, the Saints lost their playoff bid in Week 16.
Offense wasn’t the problem in 2012, though. Brees had a typical year, passing for over 5,000 yards and a whopping 43 TD, with 19 INT. The defense, however, gave up a record 7,042 yards.
Quarterbacks like Brees don’t come along often. When they do, the impulse is to get every last drop from them. Dan Marino, John Elway, Brett Favre, and the recently retired Peyton Manning are examples of great QBs who enjoyed long and storied, record-setting careers. For 10 years, Drew Brees has put up equally stellar numbers. By the end of the 2015 season, he had played in 217 games, completed 5,365 of 8,085 passes for 60,903 yards, 428 TD with 205 INT, and an overall passer rating of 95.8. Those stats are comparable to Marino’s.
The Dolphins could not help Marino bring a Lombardi Trophy to Miami. New Orleans already has one Super Bowl title. But Brees wants to be under center for at least one more. He claimed to Moscona that “there is nothing that I can’t do now that I did 15 years ago.” Some might find that hard to believe from a battered 37-year-old.
Drew Brees believes it enough to talk about a contract extension.
[Photo by David Goldman/AP Images]