Brees is re-signing with the Saints on a two-year, $50 million contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Brees made it clear he had no interest in joining a new team, so it was just a matter of working out contract details once he decided to play in 2020. The Saints will bring back most of their key players on offense, including Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Michael Thomas, Tre'Quan Smith, Jared Cook and at least four out of five starters on the offensive line.
Brees announced he will return for the 2020 season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Brees technically is on an expiring contract but already made it clear he won't play for any team besides the Saints, so it's only a matter of time until financial details are worked out. The Saints have most of their 2019 offensive nucleus under contract for 2020, including Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Michael Thomas, Tre'Quan Smith, Jared Cook and four out of five starters on the offensive line. Meanwhile, Teddy Bridgewater is expected to search for a new team, potentially allowing Taysom Hill to step up to the No. 2 quarterback spot.
Brees said Saturday that he'll decide within "a month or so" whether he wants to play a 20th NFL season in 2020, Amie Just of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. After attempting 600 or more passes during a seven-year stretch from 2010 through 2016, Brees has taken on more of a caretaker role for New Orleans over the past three campaigns, but he's been exceptional in that capacity. Though he missed five games in 2019 after undergoing thumb surgery, Brees still led the NFL for the third straight season in completion percentage (74.3 percent) while generating 7.9 yards per attempt and a 27:4 TD:INT. An impending unrestricted free agent, Brees indicated he would only return to New Orleans in 2020 if he doesn't choose to retire, and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has already said that the team would "obviously" welcome the signal-caller back. In the event Brees decides to step away from the game, the Saints would head into the spring with no quarterbacks on the roster. Backups Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill are also scheduled to hit free agency in March, though Hill is a restricted free agent.
Brees told NFL Network's Jane Slater that he'll re-sign with the Saints unless he decides to retire. "At this stage of my career, it's not a given that I'm coming back every year," Brees said. "But when that time comes, I'll always be a Saint." Brees doesn't sound like a man on the verge of retirement, though a second Super Bowl ring might have pushed him in that direction. As is, the Saints are coming off an opening-round playoff loss to the underdog Vikings, sitting in good position to bring back most of the key pieces from a 13-3 team. Overthecap.com has the Saints projected for $11.8 million of cap space, but the number shoots up to $30.9 million if they cut CB Janoris Jenkins and LB Kiko Alonso. On the offensive side, Brees is joined by WR Ted Ginn, LG Andrus Peat and FB Zach Line with expiring contracts.
Brees completed 26 of 33 pass attempts for 208 yards, one touchdown and an interception in the Saints' 26-20 overtime wild-card loss to the Vikings on Sunday. He also lost a fumble. It was a bitter ending to the season for the veteran signal-caller, as the Saints have now been eliminated from the playoffs on the final play of the game for three straight seasons. Over the final four regular-season contests of 2019, Brees tossed 15 touchdowns without recording an interception, completing 75.4 percent of his passes and averaging 297 yards per tilt. The performance in the wild-card loss certainly comes as a surprise based on that recent stretch, but Minnesota's defense was stifling all afternoon. Brees will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020, and the soon-to-be 41-year-old is not a lock to be back in New Orleans next season. Given his high-caliber play and veteran leadership, however, it wouldn't be surprising for him to ink another short-term deal.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||22.13|
|2||09/22||@Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|3||09/28||Green Bay Packers||3||14.33|
|5||10/13||Los Angeles Chargers||8||15.63|
|9||11/09||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||22.13|
|10||11/15||San Francisco 49ers||15||18.00|
|15||12/20||Kansas City Chiefs||14||17.89|
|3 Year Avg||73.5||3768||27||6||10||2||313|