Drew Brees will play with the New Orleans Saints in 2020 if he chooses to play as retirement, not free agency, is the team’s only concern now.
It’s no secret that the New Orleans Saints have major decisions looming at quarterback in the 2020 offseason. All three players from the depth chart in 2019 in Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill are slated to hit unrestricted free agency. And let’s not forget there’s also a rich talent pool of quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Considering the success that Brees has brought the Saints throughout his 14 years in New Orleans, though, you’d have to believe he’s plan A for the franchise. Yes, they may need to scramble to find a new contingency plan if they can’t afford Bridgewater but losing Brees would throw the team on its head.
In terms of free agency though, that doesn’t seem like a concern. Brees spoke to NFL Network’s Jane Slater while at the Pro Bowl in Orlando this week and made it clear that, if he signs with a team to play in 2020, it’ll be the New Orleans Saints. Per NFL.com:
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“I have never been in the situation where I was mulling over the thought of [returning],” Brees said. “To me, each one of these contracts, I don’t know how many it’s been with the Saints, I’ve played with them 14 years, it’s not a matter of if it gets done, it’s when. At this stage of my career, it’s not a given that I’m coming back every year, but when that time comes, I’ll always be a Saint.”
For Saints fans, that has to bring about a sigh of relief. With several quarterback-needy teams popping up throughout the league, the notion of Brees leaving, even if unlikely, was lingering in the back of minds. Let it linger no longer according to the quarterback himself.
However, Brees did not close the door on retirement with his comments, which makes sense for the 41-year old at this stage of his career. He is very much in the twilight of his run in the NFL, even if his performance and production have remained at a top-tier level in recent years. The chance that he would want to leave without a disastrous year bookending his career, though, is still there.
While it’s not certain that he will return for the 2020 season, Brees did seemingly hint that a return is more likely than not when talking to Slater in the same interview. The veteran quarterback brought up the disappointing Wild Card Round loss to the Vikings as motivation for the Saints and said that the current roster has the goods to win a Super Bowl.
When it comes to a player of Brees’ age, we won’t know for certain if he’s coming back or retiring until he signs on the dotted line. What we do know is that, if he signs on that line, it’ll be with the New Orleans Saints — and that another run with New Orleans is seemingly the smart man’s bet for what’s next for him.