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XLIV 5 Years Later: The Future of Drew Brees

Five years after the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, only eight players remain from that championship team. For the final part in this series we look at the future of the most notable of those players, Drew Brees.

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On February 7, 2010 in Super Bowl XLIV, New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees went 32 of 39 for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns in a Super Bowl MVP performance.  Not a bad night at the office for #9, not bad at all.  I won't even attempt to list his records and accomplishments in this post, I believe I would run out of space, and who has the time to read all of them.  Just look at his Wikipedia page when you get a chance, its almost laughable to see all of his records.  Trust me, this guy is really, really good.

In 2012, Drew Brees infamously signed a 5-year contract for an astonishing $100 million (well, astonishing for the Saints).  The deal made Brees the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history at the time.  That deal has now been eclipsed six times over, and only two of those QB's have even won a Super Bowl.  The backloaded nature of this monster contract truly takes effect this year.  This season, Brees is due $18.75 million (guaranteed) and in 2016, Brees is due $19.75 million.  Without question, the Saints need to sign Brees to an extension and restructure that money in order to take a burden off the franchise's salary cap woes.

No amount of angst or outrage displayed by segments of Saints fans over Brees' turnovers and his overstated "decline" will change the fact that Brees isn't going anywhere.  Brees is tied directly to Sean Payton, and possibly, Payton to Brees as well.  The future, post-Brees, will need to come sooner than later, but I wouldn't honestly expect Brees to be out, barring injury of course, for another five years.  While I believe Brees when he says he would like to play until he is 45 years old, I don't think any of us would like to see that.  I do think Brees can play at a higher than any alternative level until he reaches 40.  The Saints should look into drafting their next quarterback by the 2017 NFL Draft.  The Saints shouldn't pick just any quarterback, but a quarterback they honestly believe can take over such an unenviable job.

Drew Brees' contributions to the 2009 Saints season and subsequent Super Bowl XLIV title are too great to put into words.  No Brees, no magical '09 season.  No Brees, no Super Bowl XLIV Championship for the New Orleans Saints.  It's really that simple.  That's how great Brees' impact has been on this franchise.  Brees will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton the first moment he is eligible.  To put it simply, Drew Brees is the most celebrated and most beloved player in New Orleans Saints history.  The only question that remains is how much longer will he continue to play?  Not just play at the level that Saints fans expect of him, but most importantly, the level he expects of himself.  This may be the most important question for the New Orleans Saints in the immediate future.