Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Sean Payton not talking about Drew Brees’ potential return, yet

Ultimately, the New Orleans Saints are going to have to pay Drew Brees or he may move on.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has made it clear, on multiple occasions since Sunday, that he intends to extend his 12-year with the team to a beignet baker’s dozen. Coach Sean Payton wasn’t willing to be similarly candid during his end-of-season press conference.

“Not right now,” Payton said when asked whether he would comment on the process relating to the future Hall of Famer’s return via a new contract. “So no. Politely, no.”

Another reporter tried to get a blanket assurance that, whatever the details, Brees will be back: “Is there no question in your mind that you want Drew back as your quarterback?”

“Like I just finished saying. I’ll say it to you, ‘No.’ We’ll get to you when it’s time, and I’m sure that we’ll go through the process,” Payton said. “But today’s not the time.”

Surely, the Saints want to keep Brees. But they also need to be thinking about a not-too-distant future without him.

In theory, the Saints could pursue and sign a free-agent quarterback from another team, whether it’s Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins or Vikings quarterback Case Keenum, who just beat the Saints (if you haven’t heard).

Whatever they do in 2018, $18 million will count against the cap in Brees’ name. They’ll need a starting quarterback who doesn’t add dramatically to that number.