Well, that got a little too close for comfort for the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints re-signing Drew Brees seemed like a formality all offseason, until reports on Monday that Brees’ representatives was having discussions with other teams (notably the Minnesota Vikings) about the quarterback, who could become a free agent on Wednesday. But Brees won’t be going anywhere. On Tuesday morning, about 30 hours before free agency started, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Brees and the Saints agreed to a two-year, $50 million deal with $27 million guaranteed.
While that was always the expected outcome, it looked like a little less than a lock on Monday. The Vikings have a hole at quarterback, after last year’s starter Case Keenum agreed to join the Denver Broncos, and Brees is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. While the Vikings are favorites to land Kirk Cousins, the idea of signing Brees to a short-term deal to try to win a Super Bowl had to be intriguing for Minnesota. But that seemed like posturing from Brees’ side (probably from the Vikings too, who might need some leverage with Cousins), as negotiating between the Saints and Brees picked up right after that report came out. Brees leaving would have been one of the biggest stories in free agency history. Instead, Brees stays with the team that he’ll be forever associated with.
Brees is an icon in New Orleans. He turned the Saints into champions after signing with them as a free agent and has become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in New Orleans. The Saints took major strides last season and appear to be contenders again, though that would have all changed if Brees left. But after some somewhat nervous moments, Brees will remain with the Saints. As it should be.
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