Drew Brees said he wanted to remain a New Orleans Saint.
The New Orleans Saints said they wanted Drew Brees to remain a New Orleans Saint.
— NFL (@NFL) March 13, 2018
Drew Brees will remain, and likely will finish his Hall of Fame career, as a New Orleans Saint.
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) March 13, 2018
Brees, the best player in franchise history, and the Saints agreed to a two-year contract Tuesday that will push Brees to 19 NFL seasons, 14 with the Saints. During the next two years, among the NFL records within Brees’ reach is passing yards (he has 70,445; Peyton Manning’s record is 71,940) and touchdown passes (Brees sits at 488; Manning’s record is 539).
“I think that provides, certainly, the team with the most flexibility when it comes to being able to anticipate the future and the ability to acquire free agents and re-sign players on our existing roster that will build a championship team,” Brees told ESPN.
“I love my team and am excited about the opportunity we will have together.”
With Brees leading the offense since 2006, the Saints never have finished lower than sixth in total offense. They were second last season, when he set an NFL single-season record for completion percentage (72 percent) and led the team to the NFC South Division title for the fourth time since ’06, and to double-digit wins for the sixth time during that stretch.
The Saints won their wild-card playoff game against Carolina, and were one play short of advancing to the NFC Championship for the third time with Brees.
“There was no doubt in our minds, I think both myself and the Saints, that we were gonna get a deal done,” Brees told ESPN. “It was just a matter of what was the most fair deal for me and for the team to put us in the best position to succeed in the near future. And that’s what we tried to do with the deal.”
Brees, who turned 39 in January, passed for 4,334 yards and 23 touchdowns, with eight touchdowns, last year as the Saints posted their most balanced offensive numbers in several seasons. The team ran for 2,070 yards, its highest total since rushing for 2,127 yards in 2011.
Add in a young, improved defense (42 sacks, 20 interceptions, five fumble recoveries, 336.5 yards and 20.4 points allowed per game), and the Saints appear poised to make another push with Brees. And it doesn’t appear that the quarterback is slowing down.
While his yardage total was his lowest since he threw for 3,536 in his final season with San Diego in 2005, that mainly was attributable to the balanced offense and wasn’t a sign of wear; in two playoff games, against Carolina and Minnesota, Brees passed for 670 yards and five touchdowns, with three interceptions, while completing 65.8 percent of his passes. Against the Vikings, the league’s top-rated defense, Brees threw for 294 yards and three second-half touchdowns in the 29-24 loss.
Brees has an NFL-record five 5,000-yard passing seasons – there only have been four other 5,000-yard seasons by all other NFL quarterbacks.