Drew Brees announces he will return to Saints for 2020 season, can aim at historic 80,000-yard mark
The NFL legend isn't done with the league and its records just yet
Brees is coming off of another strong year of production, and shows no signs of slowing down. While his 2,979 passing yards weren't near some other years wherein he racked up more than 5,000 yards, it was mostly because he missed five games due to a thumb injury that required surgery to repair. Still, he went on to toss only four interceptions to his 27 touchdowns in 11 regular season games -- making him again one of the most efficient and mistake-free quarterbacks in the NFL.
His interception tally was also the lowest of of any season in his illustrious career as a full-time starter, dating back to his 2001 rookie year with the Chargers of San Diego.
Having been clear he wants to leave the NFL on his own terms, that time is not now, and the Saints organization now has continued stability through 2020 -- at minimum -- at the most important position on the field. The 41-year-old is positioned to get a new contract as well, and time will tell if it's of the one- or two-year variety. And with that, the Saints are reloaded to avenge not one, but two consecutive seasons of having been dismissed from the playoffs on.
While they work to get a new deal on Brees done to help mightily in those efforts, the decision by Brees will now force the hand of both Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill, and especially the latter -- having thrust himself into the limelight following recent comments surrounding his want of being a franchise quarterback. Bridgewater is an unrestricted free agent who will likely not return to the Saints as he looks to build upon his success as a starter in 2019, having went 5-0 during the absence of Brees, and the former first-round pick also has skins on the wall from his time with the Vikings that will fuel his market value.
Unlike Bridgewater, Hill is seen more as a gadget player and, also unlike Bridgewater, he's a restricted free agent in 2020. This allows the Saints to place an RFA tender on the former undrafted free agent, as well as the right of first refusal on any offer sent his way, giving them full power to dictate if he stays or goes. Ideally, they'd like to give him one more year behind Brees before potentially handing him the wheel, assuming that would still be the plan in 2021.
Half of the blueprint is now secured by way of Brees' decision to return, but now they'll have to make a decision on Hill, knowing full well how he feels about playing the backup/gadget role for another season.
For Brees, a player with a first-ballot Hall of Fame nod in his future and a list of NFL records already in tow, it's another chance at redemption, but also gives him the opportunity to do what's never been done before. His 77,416 passing yards are already the most in league history, but another season of play gives him a chance to break the 80,000-yard mark -- an insane number that shows just how prolific of a career he's had. If he can remain healthy for the full slate of games in 2020, and considering his chemistry with record-setting wide receiver Michael Thomas, it's difficult to fathom Brees falling short of that coveted bar this coming season.
This is Drew Brees we're talking about, after all. See record, own record, find new record, rinse and repeat.
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