We've had the backup quarterback debate so many times here on Da Chronic this off-season, I almost hesitate to bring it up again. But just the other day, a simple fact dawned on me; a fact that also dawned upon our favorite NFC South "blogger" at ESPN, Pat Yasinskas, only slightly sooner: Mark Brunell could still be the backup quarterback for the Saints next season. I hate to do it but I've got to give Pat Y. credit for beating me to the punch.
Until now, he wasn't ever really included in this conversation. Chase Daniel? You betcha! Sean Canfield? Yessir. But never Brunell. Most likely because, well, he's not on the team anymore. Brunell is technically an unrestricted free agent looking for work. Earlier this off-season, he was drawing interest from the NY Jets but it looks as though some of the new off-season free agency rules put a damper on those plans.
So if no other teams are interested in the veteran slinger and no significant offers are on the table, what's stopping the Saints from getting Brunell back with a low-ball offer? Makes sense to me. Not so much because Brunell is really that good but more because, as Pat so eloquently puts it...
Let's get hypothetical for a second and say Brees twists an ankle and has to miss a couple of games. Are the Saints ready to turn it over to Daniel? Or Canfield? I seriously doubt it.
I concur. Daniel and Canfield are longer-term projects, not quite ready yet to be handed the keys to a finely-tuned, well-oiled offense like one the Saints possess.
That doesn't mean the Saints can't or won't sign another veteran QB with starting experience; someone like Marc Bulger. But how much of an upgrade would that really be and is it worth whatever trouble or learning curve might come with entering a new system, especially given Brunell has already spent two years learning it? If he remains unsigned through free agency, the Saints may be able to acquire a desperate Brunell - who would undoubtedly be amiable to not having to move again - on the cheap, then address this position again next off-season when better options might be available.
What do you think? Are Pat and I onto something here? Let's talk about Saints backup quarterback options...again.