Two recent ESPN pieces (Insider required) came out and addressed multiple topics for the NFL offseason. The first addressed the biggest looming free agency decision for each NFL team. For the New Orleans Saints? Re-signing free agent QB Drew Brees.
After two early-season defeats, it looked as though the Saints were headed toward another season without the postseason. That prompted questions as to whether the team needed to press reset and allow Brees to finish his historic career elsewhere. That’s a distant memory, however, as following a run to the postseason and a reinvigorated roster, New Orleans is right back on track. Brees has shown zero signs of physical regression, meaning a long-term investment in him is not a risk -- it’s prudent. One note to keep in mind: His previous deal prevents New Orleans from using its franchise tag on him.
We’ve already gone over that the Saints are going to re-sign the veteran QB, and it’s just a matter of “when” and “how”, not “if.” It’s almost unthinkable to imagine Drew playing for a different team at this point in his NFL career.
The second piece by ESPN addressed one player from each NFL team that could best use a change of scenery. For the Saints? Another player we have discussed here at Canal Street Chronicles: TE Coby Fleener.
The Saints wouldn’t save a ton of money by releasing Fleener, since $3.4 million of his $6.3 million salary already has been guaranteed. But they could look to upgrade that pass-catching tight end role that has been such a big part of their offense in the Sean Payton-Drew Brees era and was lacking from their third-down offense in 2017. The 29-year-old has shown a few glimpses in New Orleans, especially during the hurry-up, two-minute offense. But the former Colt hasn’t produced at the level everyone expected when he signed a five-year, $36 million deal two years ago. He played only about 24 snaps per game last season, finishing with 22 catches for 295 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games before a concussion ended his season early.
Can anyone think of a potential replacement Tight End in free agency that could work in the Saints offense? Yeah, me neither.