Drew Brees will still get picked as a Fantasy starter, but there are legit concerns about his productivity -- and it's unrelated to his skills. His 72 percent completion rate and No. 2 rank in Pro Football Focus' prestigious deep passing metric from last year is proof his arm isn't declining. Instead, it's Brees' lack of pass attempts -- 33.5 per game in 2017, his lowest average since 2009. In a related story, Brees set eight-year lows in passing yardage and touchdowns while the Saints' 444 rush attempts were the most they've had since -- surprise! -- 2009. Obviously if Sean Payton's crew still runs the ball well and the defense stays strong, Brees won't have to throw as much. It's a sticking point that will cost Brees some big games, but it's also something that should be priced into his Draft Day price tag. Don't be the guy who takes Brees in Round 3 or 4 -- instead, take him toward the end of Round 6 or later (especially in PPR). If it feels like a steal, you're doing something right.
Brees and the Saints have reached agreement on a two-year, $50 million contract that includes $27 million guaranteed, Jane Slater of NFL Network reports. Brees could get more money on the open market, but he reportedly has no interest in switching teams for the final few years of his career. Understandably so, given that he's a living legend in New Orleans, where the current roster boasts an excellent supporting cast that includes Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. The Saints also are expected to seek an upgrade at tight end now that they don't have to worry about a dead cap charge from Brees' last contract accelerating to 2018. A reunion with Jimmy Graham isn't out of the question.
Brees and the Saints are expected to reach agreement on a two-year contract Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Brees isn't believed to have any interest in leaving New Orleans, but he nonetheless has some leverage thanks to the structure of his last contract, which would leave the Saints with a dead cap charge of $18 million for 2018 if they don't sign the quarterback to a new deal before free agency opens at 4:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday. All signs point to Brees staying put, even if negotiations have been somewhat tenuous.
Brees is still expected to re-sign with the Saints, Herbie Teope of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Brees can become an unrestricted free agent when the league year begins March 14, but he isn't believed to have any interest in a change of scenery at this stage of his career. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis met with Brees' agent Thursday night, and while the two parties have yet to reach an agreement, Loomis reiterated that the quarterback will stay with the team. Brees set an NFL record by completing 72.0 percent of his passes last season, but it didn't translate to the customary gaudy statistics as the Saints were able to rely on an elite running game and a finally-competent defense.
Though Brees is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March, when asked following Sunday's divisional-round loss to the Vikings if he considered himself a part of the Saints' future, he replied, "I do," Herbie Teope of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Brees, who turned 39 on Monday, continues to play at a very high level, having passed for 4,334 yards this past season while logging a 23:8 TD:INT ratio. Meanwhile, top backup Chase Daniel is also slated to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and No. 3 signal caller Taysom Hill is signed through 2019. Expect the Saints to make re-signing Brees -- who has excelled as the franchise signal caller since 2006 -- an offseason priority. Given his desire to remain with the team, it would be surprising if the two sides aren't able to strike a deal.
Brees completed 25 of 40 passes for 294 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions during Sunday's 29-24 NFC divisional-round loss to the Vikings. Brees and the Saints looked to be on the wrong side of a potential blowout when they fell behind 17-0 by halftime, as a tough Minnesota defense stifled New Orleans' ground game while picking off two of Brees' passes in the process. However, the veteran gunslinger hit the ground running coming out of the break and picked apart the Vikings secondary throughout the second half. He came within seconds of securing the win after leading his team to a field goal to go up 24-23 with 25 seconds remaining, but the Vikings' offense took advantage of a Saints defensive blunder and got Stefon Diggs loose for a game-winning touchdown as time expired. On the bright side for Brees is the fact that all of his key offensive weapons are set to return to New Orleans for the 2018 campaign, though potential investors in the aging quarterback should keep in mind that the Saints' evident shift away from a pass-heavy offensive attack in 2017 seems likely to persist going forward.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||18.56|
|4||09/30||@New York Giants||32||22.88|
|9||11/04||Los Angeles Rams||9||16.65|
|14||12/09||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||18.56|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||69.9||4804||31||11||15||2||376|