The New Orleans Saints found a way to keep their marriage with Drew Brees going at least for another season. On Tuesday, the Saints and Brees agreed in principle to a two-year deal worth $50 million, according to ESPN. While it will be great to have Brees once again shoot for 5,000 yards in 2018, the deal represents more than that.
Brees is 39-years-old, and while many believe he can go another two or three years, the truth is, the Saints may not want that.
With winning comes great responsibility, and the Saints would like to keep that moving past the two years they will pay Brees. But a closer look at the contract reveals the Saints may have a Plan B just in case.
While Brees will get $27 million guaranteed, the deal still has an out clause for the Saints. The first year is rock solid. Just for good measure, the Saints added a No Trade Clause. But what they also added was an option for the second year.
If Brees continues to shine, the Saints can pick it up, but the hard truth is they may not want to. While there are few real prospects in terms of college quarterbacks for the 2019 NFL Draft, the Saints may have their eyes set on the real prize of the 2019 NFL Free Agent class — Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Foles is fresh off a Super Bowl victory, and while teams are inquiring about his availability, the Eagles have no desire to let him go with the uncertainty of Carson Wentz’s injury. However, in 2019, he will be free to do whatever, and this is why the Saints may have added that team option in the new Brees deal.
Foles will enter his free-agent spree at the age of 30 with plenty of time to lead the post-Brees era in New Orleans. Look around, how many quarterbacks who hit the market this year have the resume that Foles has? Kirk Cousins has never been to a Conference Championship Game. Case Keenum faltered against Foles in the NFC Championship Game in January, and Foles has the same amount of rings Brees has.
Pairing Foles with the likes of Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, and Micheal Thomas will keep the Saints in the hunt in the NFC for years to come. While Foles has never put up Brees-like numbers, we still haven’t seen what he can do with a full season under his belt. That’s what’s so special and scary about Foles.
Under Chip Kelly in Philly, he thrived. While with the Rams and QB-killer Jeff Fisher, he stunk it up, and under Andy Reid in Kansas City, he was average. But given the weapons he had in Philadelphia this past season, history was made. But what happens if he’s paired with offensive guru Sean Payton? For all the Foles doubters and Brees lovers, please remember who Drew Brees was before he got with Payton. There was no mention of Hall of Fame while in San Diego. But when Payton and Brees joined forces, something magical happened. Why can’t that be the same outcome for Foles and Payton?