Drew Brees on contract situation: 'I don't plan on leaving New Orleans ever'
That doesn't mean the team feels the same way when it comes to a new, expensive contract
Drew Brees has spent the past 12 years in New Orleans. It's where he won a Super Bowl and filled out his Hall of Fame resume. So it shouldn't come as a surprise to hear that if he has it his way, he'll finish out his career with the Saints.
During an appearance on "Hardwick & Richardson" XTRA 1360-AM, Brees was asked about his contract situation given that his current deal expires after the season. He revealed that he never wants to leave New Orleans, but admitted that the two sides haven't talked about a new deal yet.
"I'll handle 2018 when 2018 gets here, but right now I'm in the moment, I'm in 2017," Brees said, per NFL.com. "We're trying to get a little bit better each and every week. I feel like we've got a great opportunity ahead of us and I don't plan on leaving New Orleans ever.
"Hopefully, I know all of that stuff takes care of itself when it's supposed to. I have not approached them about any contract. We just have a great understanding here. Listen, we're going to go through this season and we'll revisit it in the offseason. Right now, I'm in the moment."
With good reason, Brees is focusing on 2017. The Saints are 7-2 after a 47-10 beatdown of the Bills in Buffalo, which stretched their winning streak to seven games. They're in first place in the NFC South. They boast a plus-103 point differential. They're legitimate contenders in the NFC for the first time since 2013.
Before the season, the idea of keeping Brees, 38, around for another year or two felt ludicrous with the Saints stuck in a state of mediocrity. Why pay an aging quarterback somewhere around $20-25 million a year when his greatness alone isn't enough to get the Saints into the playoffs?
But now, with the Saints finally figuring it out on defense, the idea of bringing back Brees makes a heck of a lot more sense. The Saints are a contender with Brees. They should keep him around and try to get one more Super Bowl while he's still at the top of his game. In a crowded NFC featuring contenders like the 7-2 Vikings, 7-2 Rams, and 8-1 Eagles, the Saints might just be considered the favorites because they boast the best quarterback of the group.
One could argue, though, that because the Saints finally have a defense and an incredible running game, they no longer need an expensive, top-tier quarterback. It's true that the Saints have leaned on Brees less than they have in years past. As a team, they're averaging the third-most rushing yards per game (142.2). It's true that the Saints' cap situation is less than ideal. Spotrac estimates their 2018 cap space to be at roughly $30 million. It's also true that Brees will be 39 when next season begins and not every quarterback ages like Tom Brady. Those are the factors that the Saints' front office will have to weigh in the offseason. They'll also have to think up their plan for life after Brees. It certainly won't be easy to replace one of the most irreplaceable quarterbacks in football.
So far this season, Brees has completed 71.7 percent of his passes, averaged 8.0 yards per pass, thrown 13 touchdowns and four picks, and accumulated a 104.0 passer rating. If the Saints don't retain him, some quarterback-needy team is going to get very lucky.
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