Drew Brees will be officially finishing his career as a New Orleans Saint.
New Orleans and Brees have came to an agreement on a two-year, $50 million contract that includes $27 million in guarantees. Jane Slater of NFL Network was the first to report the agreement, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the contract includes a no-trade clause.
While Brees’ contract is technically two years, it technically is a one-year deal that includes a team option for the second year of the deal. As long as Brees continues to play at the elite level he’s shown throughout his time with the Saints, that option should have no problem being picked up by both sides.
It was long expected that Brees would re-sign with the Saints ahead of the start of the NFL’s new league year on Wednesday, but that didn’t stop other NFL teams from completing due diligence. The Minnesota Vikings were among the teams that reached out to Brees just in case, as the Vikings have been linked to almost every free agent quarterback in one way or another so far this off-season.
In 2017, the Saints reemerged into Super Bowl contenders, as they were one play away from making the NFC Championship Game against the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. The organization appears to even be set on improving their already championship-caliber roster this off-season, having interest in Jimmy Graham, Malcolm Butler, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and others.
“I love my team and am excited about the opportunity we will have together,” Brees told ESPN.
This is Brees’ fourth different contract with the Saints, and they all trace back to the six-year, $60 million deal that he signed with the Saints to leave the Chargers in 2006. It is widely-regarded as the best move in franchise history, as it helped turnaround a Saints franchise that needed help. Three years later, the Saints won the Super Bowl with Brees leading the way, and now he’s on pace to do break some of the league’s most historic records.
Brees will need 1,496 yards in 2018 to break Peyton Manning‘s passing yard record of 71,940, something the 39-year-old Brees should achieve easily. What might not be as easy is the touchdowns record. He will need 52 touchdowns to surpass Brett Favre and Manning, and after throwing only 23 touchdowns in 2017, it may be hard for Brees to get to 52 over the lifetime of the deal, especially when New Orleans posses a lethal rushing attack that features Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.
However, if the Saints were to reunite with Graham on a contract, that could perhaps entice more touchdown throws from Brees in 2018 and 2019. The Brees-Graham connection has hooked up for 51 career touchdowns, the second-most touchdowns Brees has to thrown to one player. Only Marques Colston has more touchdown catches from Brees with 72.
For his career, Brees has thrown for 489 touchdowns and 70,445 yards. 408 of those touchdowns have came as a member of the Saints.
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