Posted on January 16, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
Sunday night, the New Orleans Saints were on the wrong side of one of the most heartbreaking playoff losses in recent memory. The team had one foot in the NFC Championship Game only to have their Super Bowl hopes dashed by a miracle play. Despite the disappointment, longtime New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees isn’t about to jump ship. Brees is set to be a free agent this summer. But he’s already made it clear that he won’t test free agency and wants to re-sign with the Saints.
“I’m not in the mood to make anything secretive,” Brees said about being on the open market this offseason. “It’s the same way I felt two days ago. It’s the same way I felt 12 years ago. That is that I’ll be here as long as they’ll have me, hopefully.”
Of course, Brees understands that there is a “process” that must take place. The Saints will have to evaluate their situation at quarterback, just like they do every other position. They will then have to decide whether they want to bring back the 39-year old Brees and at what price. Brees understands that by saying he wants to stay in New Orleans, he loses leverage in negotiations with the team. However, he’s already made up his mind.
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“I really haven’t given it a ton of thought,” Brees said, “other than, I know where my mindset’s been the whole time, and that’s that I’ll be here”
For Brees, the priority is winning. He already has one Super Bowl ring, and there’s no doubt that he’d like another. More importantly, he wants to win that Super Bowl with the Saints and believes New Orleans has the talent to do so.
“I feel like we have a great window of opportunity (to win a Super Bowl),” says Brees. “I’ve been a part of talented teams in the past throughout my career, though, that have not lived up to expectations. I’ve also been a part of teams that were just gutsy and gritty, and surpassed expectations.
“So the bottom line is that success is dependent upon your willingness to work and the way that guys care about each other and the sense of urgency. So while I think we do have a talented team, I know that each year you have to go out and prove it.”
The Saints have until March 14 to re-sign Brees before he officially becomes available to other teams. That gives the team some level of urgency to get a deal done, especially since they’re unable to use the franchise tag on Brees. Of course, the Saints could move on from Brees with one of the quarterbacks available in this year’s draft. But they could also draft a quarterback and groom him behind Brees for a year or two.
If Brees does make it to March 14 without signing a contract with the Saints, there are likely to be other suitors. The Broncos, in particular, could be a team with interest in him. However, just two days after he watched his season come to a devastating conclusion, Brees appears to have made up his mind. He wants to be back in New Orleans in 2018, and he wants to lead the Saints to a Super Bowl.