It’s been nine days since Drew Brees announced he would be returning for his 20th season and his 15th with the New Orleans Saints. And yet the quarterback’s contract situation is still unresolved.
Brees is set to be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begin on March 18, but Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said Thursday he doesn’t expect Brees to hit the open market.
Asked on SiriusXM NFL Radio if the Saints want to sign Brees before the start of free agency, Loomis responded, "Look, that would be our goal because then you just have clarity going into the beginning of free agency, exactly what you have available and the structure of what you have.
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"Is it mandatory? Probably not mandatory that we have that done, but it certainly will be a goal of ours."
Brees carried a $22.7 million cap hit in 2019 and is set to account for $15.9 million of New Orleans’ cap in 2020, due to past restructures and prorated pay. Brees turned 41 years old last month.
It remains to be seen how long the Saints quarterback and future Hall of Famer’s likely final deal in New Orleans will last. But if Loomis is to be believed, there is little question as to whether a deal will get done between the two sides before free agency.
How the Saints will hold onto hybrid backup Taysom Hill is another question. A restricted free agent-to-be, Hill could see New Orleans place a tender him at the first- or second-round level, worth $4.7 million or $3.3 million, respectively, depending on the Saints’ desire to retain him.
Loomis said he hasn’t decided how to proceed regarding Hill’s future.
"We’ll figure out something. He’s unique when you look around the league, so we’re going to have to look at it in that way. I don’t have an answer for you right now," Loomis said. "But I do know this: We love Taysom, love what he’s done for us. He’s got a bright future.
"We have a vision for him and I think he feels the same way. I think he feels strongly about his experience in New Orleans and would love to be back with us. That’s 90 percent of the battle."
The Saints will have to be 100 percent sure how they wanted to proceed when the ides of March come calling.
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