Just to refresh your memories, I’ll point out some highlights with the Drew Brees contract extension that was negotiated last season. Basically, it was a heavily Brees favored deal that gave Drew some extra money while allowing some extra cap space during the 2016 season. The bottom line was that 2017 is his final season under contract with the Saints. Extended to 2018 to push dollars down the road, his contract voids in 2018, and Mr. Brees is essentially a free agent. With no trade and no tag clauses, the team will have to bid for his services along with any other teams who may wish to do so. For the record, Drew carries $18 million in dead cap for the 2018 season.
Drew is 38 years old, and will turn 39 before this season’s Super Bowl is played in Minneapolis. I’m not with the school of thought that believes there is any substantial “decline” in his abilities. As pointed out by some, looking at you B.O.D, he may have to make more underneath throws to compensate for a slight weakening in arm strength, or it may just be an adjustment caused by a weaker offensive line. Yes the O-line was rated as the 5th best, if memories serves right, last year in the NFL. I think Drew’s ability to read defenses and get rid of the ball quickly had much to do with that ranking. There is no denying that receivers appear to either have to wait for or come back to the ball more. Then there are the prefect, in-stride, catches that are a thing of beauty to my eyes. At 38, I’m sure father time is having some influence, but I still love this man at the helm.
During practice there was a brief scare, when Drew was involved in what was described as a tangling of the legs when a “scrum of linemen” reached him and he was brought to the ground. Relax, Brees was fine but it shows the risk for him playing on a one year contract. While Drew usually stresses his love for his team and plans to remain, there was than one moment when he was not as upbeat, and said he didn’t know how long he could continue like this. Apparently three, 7-9 seasons in a row, will get to even the most positive person at times. The good news is a scrum of linemen managed to break through to get to him. Maybe there is hope for our defense going forward. I wouldn’t read too much this early, because these are non-pad practices, which are meant to be QB contact free.
One thing is undeniable. The defense has to get better for Brees and the team to have any chance this year, and time is quickly growing short with our future hall of fame quarterback. Despite his record setting pace this is a team sport and Drew would rather pad fewer stats and have more wins. So Drew is playing in a contract year and the Saints will have to make decisions on more than just the draft and coaching positions in 2018. We’ve gotten younger and hopefully faster on defense, while already taking some injury hits on the overall team.