Sean Payton ducks questions about Drew Brees' possible future with the Saints

Saints coach Sean Payton held his season-ending press conference on Tuesday and although he was willing to answer most questions that he was asked during the roughly 10-minute session, there was one subject he definitely didn't want to talk about: The future of Drew Brees

Brees is about to become a free agent in the truest since of the word and that's mainly because the quarterback has a clause in his contract that prohibits use of the franchise tag, which means he'll be free to leave New Orleans this offseason. 

Although Payton watched Brees nearly lead an improbable comeback from a 17-0 halftime deficit against one of the best defenses in the NFL on Sunday, he wasn't ready to commit to Brees when he was asked about the quarterback's future on Tuesday. First, Payton was asked if he could offer any insight on what might happen with Brees.  

"Not right now," Payton said, via the Saints official website. "So no."

The Saints coach was then asked a much more specific question: Is there no question in your mind that you want [Brees] back?

"Like I just finished saying, I'll say it to you, 'No,'" Payton said. "We'll get to you when it's time and I'm sure that we'll go through the process, but today's not the time."

Although Payton didn't hint one way or the other whether or not he wants Brees to return, it was interesting that he wouldn't even answer a single question about the future of his quarterback. For his part, Brees made it clear this week that he wants to return to New Orleans for a 13th season. 

Not only did he send out a tweet after the Saints' shocking 29-24 loss to the Vikings, but he also said he'd like to stay as long as the team wants him. 

"It's the same way I felt two days ago, the same way I felt 12 years ago. That is, I'll be here as long as they'll have me," Brees said. 

The one thing that does slightly complicate any deal with Brees is his contract. Although it's set to to expire in March, it's still going to count $18 million against the Saints salary cap in 2018 whether he's on the team or not, which means if he signs a new deal, the Saints are going to have to figure out how to fit that in with the $18 million in dead money that they're already on the hook for. 

If the Saints decide they want to move from Brees, there could be multiple free agent options out there like Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater. However, the easiest thing to do would probably be just to hold onto Brees. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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