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Drew Brees is still a good quarterback, he’s just no longer the right quarterback:

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In today’s NFL landscape if your ultimate goal is to have sustained success as a title contender your forced to understand the business side of the sport as well as the football side. Drew Brees is a prime example of this as Brees is still a good quarterback in this league but when you factor in all elements to the equation you realize that Brees is simply in a situation with the Saints where he’s no longer the right quarterback for this franchise and it’s time to part ways.

In 2016 the Saints made a commitment to rebuild around Brees in an effort to chase another Super Bowl title. The roster was stripped down to the studs and turned over with the most draft picks in a 3 year span ever seen in the Sean Payton era. The organization was well aware that this move was going to allow the team to put a lot of cheap talent around their aging and expensive franchise quarterback but in doing so would also place a timeline on the future Hall of farmers career with the organization. At some point the young core will need to be paid and the time to pay the piper for kicking the can down the road of Brees contract year after year would finally come due. 

The backend of big contracts such as Terron Armstead, Larry Warford and Demario Davis are coming up. We just made Michael Thomas the highest paid receiver in NFL history and acquired a cornerback mid-season with an 11 million dollar cap hit for next season. The soon to expire rookie deals hovering over this franchise of players such as Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk, Sheldon Rankins, Marcus Williams, Von Bell, Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara all put extreme pressure on the front office and the management of the salary cap moving forward. 

This isn’t even considering our upcoming free agents this offseason… where the team will have to make tough decisions on solid role players such as David Onyemata, AJ Klein, PJ Williams and Zach Wood.

Then there is Teddy Bridgewater.

Not only did Bridgewater prove during his 5 game win streak that he is past his knee injury but also that he’s still a franchise quarterback in the NFL. At just 27 years old and a seamless fit in Sean Payton’s offense, Bridgewater offers the Saints a rare opportunity to move forward in a younger cheaper direction with not much drop off in production but he also is a free agent this offseason and will be likely looking for a starting opportunity with financial long-term security. 

As you can see, there is a lot of work to be done as far as contracts go and Mickey Loomis will have his hands full in the coming months. Of course there is always players contract we can move on from in a cap cutting maneuver but those will in no way  help with everything that is needed to be done all while keeping this core intact and remaining competitive. Unless the Saints are finally willing to move on from the one contract that has hampered them.

Drew Brees contract carries a dead money hit of over 21 million in 2020 regardless if he’s on the roster or not. However if the Saints are willing to move on and not retain him they can either absorb that 21 million dollar hit all at once in 2020 as they prepare to lock up thief young core over the next 2 years or they can spread that 21 million over the next 3 seasons on the cap. Either way this would allow the Saints to lock up Bridgewater on a long-term deal with a cap friendly cap hit in the first couple years as they eat the remaining of Brees deal. It also opens up the cap space in 2021 and beyond to lock up our young core around Bridgewater. However if the Saints instead opt to continue to kick the can down the road with Brees on another extension, that dead money number will only continue to rise and it will all but guarantee that players such as Bridgewater and other young core players will be lost to other teams via free agency.

As you can see, business wise it just doesn’t make sense to bring Drew Brees back. Now let’s consider the football side of the equation for a moment…

While Brees is still a fine NFL quarterback, he isn’t the player he once was. Brees is a limited player these days with an inability to drive the ball down the field which allows opposing defenses the ability to leave the back end of the field uncovered. This allows defenses to crowd the second line of defense where Brees likes to dink and dunk. Despite this fact, Brees is still an extremely efficient passer who benefits from having one of the most creative play-callers in the game in Sean Payton as his coach. Another issue is that due to his age, Brees isn’t the athlete he once was and he can no longer escape in the pocket like he once did which has lead to more sacks and mistakes especially against the stout defenses the NFL has to offer. However maybe the biggest issue with Brees is that he himself still feels he’s the Hall of Fame version of himself at times and it’s during these times Brees makes horrible decisions at inopportune times. Looking at this breakdown of Brees game currently and comparing it to what Bridgewater offers at the reduced cost and ability to lock up other core young players it’s clear that while Brees is still a good quarterback for the Saints, he’s just not the right one any longer.

What say you?

 

WHODAT  
    

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I agree wholeheartedly, and I don't like it. I don't like that we're coming to the end of an amazing era, yet I feel so fortunate (as a fan) that we've had the pleasure of having somebody so dang good on our team, and somebody who was a huge key to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, and restoring hope for an entire city/region. I truly believe the Greater New Orleans area AND region have improved due to Saints football, and the Tom Benson business initiatives.

In the perfect World, Brees would announce retirement, and he'd accept a position among the coaches to help train these young studs. Sign Bridge to a contract as we already know he wants to stay in NOLA, so get him in. If he happens to be injured, re-sign Brees to come out of retirement and lead the team for a few weeks. Roll reversal in its finest!

The youth movement of the NFC is in full swing, and we need to consider the 49ers, Rams, Ariens and his Buccs will undoubtedly become a force, the Vikings... all getting younger, and all improving. We need to be in the thick of this movement, and we can't be when our QB can only muster accuracy below 22 yards.

Brees is in the best shape of his life, and it's just not quite good enough, and he knows it. I truly believe that's why he was so rattle vs. the Vikings. So many errors, not stepping up into the pocket, heaving the ball downfield, not protecting the ball, I mean, really looking like a rookie. That's not going to win us any key games.

I don't know that Bridgewater is the answer, but after what we saw from him earlier, I'd really like to see us give him a shot. The defense seemed to rally around him rather than rely on him. That's the BIGGEST reason I'd like to see a change. I believe this entire franchise becomes complacent when Brees is in the mix. In 2006 he had something major to prove, and he did by 2009. He's got nothing left to prove. He is one of the best to ever play this game, and holds records that may stand for decades. 

Brees should hang it up before he ends up with a neck like Manning, or worse. And I may weep, openly when that time comes.

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You are exactly right when you say this franchise from top down rely on Brees to much. Its all they know and its like habit. "Oh Drews in the game he'll win it for us" everyone seems to go into relax mode when hes on the field and its not fair to Drew but it is what it is. Drew just cant do what he used to and carry everyone and for that reason if Drew does indeed want to continue playing I feel its in his and the Saints best intrest that he do it elsewhere.

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Best case scenario, Brees retires and Bridgewater becomes the starter.

But even then, we need more consistent play across the board.  Bridgewater was mediocre a few games he started, but it's hard to tell how much of that mediocrity was on him because the oline killed drive after drive with holding calls.  Really, all year the oline has been inconsistent.  Andrus Peat needs to walk out the door right behind Brees.  Mike Zimmer's gameplan was to essentially target Peat, and it worked like a charm.

Payton needs to be better in how he utilizes the run game.  The cutesy playcalling blows up in our face as much or more than it helps.  Kamara has been injured and struggling, but Payton isn't helping anything with his playcalling and how he uses him.  And his under utilization of Latavius Murray was also criminal.

We need receiver help behind Thomas.  Teams can't know the ball is going to Thomas every single play.  It's a problem when it's a better decision to throw to Thomas in double coverage rather than an open Ted Ginn.

The defense is inconsistent like the rest of the team.  The secondary especially has to improve.  One thing almost all, with very few exceptions, superbowl teams have in common is an elite defense or a defense that plays like they're elite in the postseason.  This defense isn't elite.  They're a huge improvement over our previous historically bad units, but it's not enough.  Demario Davis and the d-line are elite, but the secondary is not, and that's a bad thing in a league with more passing than ever.  

 

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I bet we run it back with Brees... Payton wears blinders for brees at times. I love what he’s done in the past, but 25yrds out his ball is so slow and underwhelming. Watch anyone in playoffs ball is on a rope his is not

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12 minutes ago, Baldbob said:

I bet we run it back with Brees... Payton wears blinders for brees at times. I love what he’s done in the past, but 25yrds out his ball is so slow and underwhelming. Watch anyone in playoffs ball is on a rope his is not

I have little doubt that your right. Payton went on NFL countdown and said that he feels like Brees will come back which tells you that its really Brees decision and that Loomis and Payton are in no way trying to move on.

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Brees will not walk away with his last game looking like he was old and confused. ESPN has a report that he has been contacted about going into the booth for a non espn broadcast. Payton said he sees Brees back on our field next year.... 😕 Need to be like New England and move on a year early not late. But we will watch more Dino and dunk next season. Also Kamara does not look the same. Not electric and not as into team since Ingram has left.

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Before the Brees bashing gets out of control, I just wanna say he’s still a better option than over half the league.  And he will be until he zombifies.

The reason I think it’s time to move on, is because we’ll lose Bridgewater if we don’t, and it’s better to start Bridgewater now and have Brees retire before the train completely runs off the rails.

If Bridgewater doesn’t work out then oh well, Brees was never getting any younger.  But 1-2 more years of grandpa Brees isn’t worth losing Bridgewater if he goes elsewhere and has success as a starter.

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4 hours ago, Jlowe22 said:

Before the Brees bashing gets out of control, I just wanna say he’s still a better option than over half the league.  And he will be until he zombifies.

The reason I think it’s time to move on, is because we’ll lose Bridgewater if we don’t, and it’s better to start Bridgewater now and have Brees retire before the train completely runs off the rails.

If Bridgewater doesn’t work out then oh well, Brees was never getting any younger.  But 1-2 more years of grandpa Brees isn’t worth losing Bridgewater if he goes elsewhere and has success as a starter.

This has been my thought process as well. It's just not worth it to lose Bridgewater, plus by going with Bridgewater he will likely be a cheaper option than Brees and hopefully allow us to retain some of our young talented players that will be up for new contracts soon.

My biggest fear is going with Brees another year than rolling the dice on the draft and having Cleveland Browns type luck searching for the next QB with draft bust after draft bust instead of going with a guy like Bridgewater that at showed some flashes of being our guy at QB

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1 hour ago, tyler735 said:

This has been my thought process as well. It's just not worth it to lose Bridgewater, plus by going with Bridgewater he will likely be a cheaper option than Brees and hopefully allow us to retain some of our young talented players that will be up for new contracts soon.

My biggest fear is going with Brees another year than rolling the dice on the draft and having Cleveland Browns type luck searching for the next QB with draft bust after draft bust instead of going with a guy like Bridgewater that at showed some flashes of being our guy at QB

Well according to Sean Payton today he fully expects Brees to be back next season and he even mentioned Hill being restricted which means he’s confident he’ll be back as well. I fully expect Teddy Bridgewater to be playing for another franchise in 2020. 

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Yeah unfortunately seems like that's how this is going to play out.

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Like it or not, he’s prolly gonna leave a year late rather than a year early.  

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2 hours ago, Jlowe22 said:

Like it or not, he’s prolly gonna leave a year late rather than a year early.  

What I’m hoping for now is that Payton can convince Teddy to stick with us 1 more year... this next season is setting up for the Saints to have a much easier road to the playoffs as their schedule on paper will be one of the easiest in the NFL. Maybe Sean convinces all parties to run it back 1 more year and make that run and hopefully get all the breaks like Green Bay did this year.

 

Still, I think Payton would have to give Teddy a guarantee that the Saints will move on from Drew after next season if he doesn’t retire to get him to reup for another season and bypass big money in the offseason. Teddy’s value is as about as high as it’s going to be right now.

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28 minutes ago, whodatworm23 said:

What I’m hoping for now is that Payton can convince Teddy to stick with us 1 more year... this next season is setting up for the Saints to have a much easier road to the playoffs as their schedule on paper will be one of the easiest in the NFL. Maybe Sean convinces all parties to run it back 1 more year and make that run and hopefully get all the breaks like Green Bay did this year.

 

Still, I think Payton would have to give Teddy a guarantee that the Saints will move on from Drew after next season if he doesn’t retire to get him to reup for another season and bypass big money in the offseason. Teddy’s value is as about as high as it’s going to be right now.

That would be ideal, but I just don’t see Teddy turning down a chance to start unless he’s dead set on not going to a dumpster fire team.  

Honestly, if I’m Teddy, I’d rather sit even another year if there’s a guarantee I’d get to play here.  Theres not many better situations for a young QB than here.  Except maybe Belichick in New England, and even then, while they have the GOAT coach and a very elite defense, they have more offensive problems than we do.

Itll be an interesting offseason.

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Challenge/dare/bet for Sean Payton:

Regardless of who's playing quarterback, whether it's Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, or Taysom Hill, I would love to see Sean Payton win a game as big as the NFC championship game by asking our quarterback to only throw 8 times in the entire game.

I'm guessing the last time that any of our quarterbacks only through 8 times, it was the week Drew Brees got his thumb torn off.

To have a guy as dynamic as Jimmy Garoppolo, and a running back that is basically unheard of accomplish what the 49ers did, just amazing.

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