Former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has garnered 100 percent of the free-agent quarterback hype across the NFL this offseason. However, many have forgotten that New Orleans Saints signal-caller Drew Brees is a free agent — and the Saints have five days to re-sign him before $18 million in dead money takes effect onto the Saints’ 2018 payroll.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote Friday that although both sides were reportedly set to meet last week in Indianapolis, “those discussions have led to no concrete signs that a deal is coming.”
Florio also made a surprise appearance on KFAN Sports Radio on Friday and offered more insight, stating he believes Brees and the Saints are having a “miscommunication” and that it’s becoming realistic that Brees could become available.
Mike Florio of PFT says on @KFAN1003 that Drew Brees and the Saints appear to be having “miscommunication” regarding a deal. Florio believes there’s a slight chance that Brees becomes available
— Sean Borman (@SeanBoarMan) March 9, 2018
League-wide belief throughout the entire offseason has been that Brees will re-sign with the Saints. It is now March 9, five days until Brees’s contract expires and the $18 million in dead money hits the Saints, and no deal has been agreed on.
With each day Brees and the Saints do not agree on a new deal, the likelihood he winds up elsewhere increases. Brees is free to communicate with other teams when the legal tampering period begins on Monday, just the same as any free agent. It would be the first time in 12 years Brees could engage in negotiations with teams other than New Orleans.
In three days, Drew Brees will be able to entertain contract offers from other teams for the first time in 12 years https://t.co/CBjzr7HmKo
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 9, 2018
Prevailing belief is still that the Saints and Brees will agree to a deal before Wednesday. However, the fact that Brees remains unsigned and that no concrete reports of progress on negotiations have surfaced provides a glimmer of chance that he is wearing a different uniform in 2018.
This brings the Minnesota Vikings into the fold, arguably the most glamorous landing spot for a free-agent quarterback in the NFL right now. Minnesota is the odds-on favorite to land Cousins and likely make him the highest-paid quarterback in league history. But if Brees suddenly becomes available, it would certainly behoove both Minnesota and Brees to seriously consider each other as a possible match.
The 39-year-old future Hall-of-Famer presumably is chasing after another Super Bowl ring before his career ends. Minnesota offers one of the most complete rosters in the NFL on both sides of the ball that just earned a berth in the NFC Championship game. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs represent one of the best, if not the best, wide receiver duo in all of football, which would undoubtedly be of interest to Brees if he and the Vikings engage in negotiations.
Drew Brees ➡️ Adam Thielen for 6.
— ESPN (@espn) January 28, 2018
For the Vikings, Brees offers a chance to maximize their Super Bowl chances over the next year or two. Many would argue the Vikings entered their “Super Bowl window” last season, and the one thing missing from the roster now is a quality starting quarterback. Cousins is certainly a quality starting quarterback, and potentially better than that. But Brees is much, much more than a quality starting quarterback — he’s an elite, future Hall-of-Fame quarterback.
Minnesota is reportedly set to offer Cousins the highest average annual salary in NFL history. Why not instead offer that money to Brees, a Super Bowl champion and future Hall-of-Famer who has shown no signs of decline?
Much of this remains hypothetical, and the most likely result is still Brees signing with the Saints. But New Orleans’s window to retain Brees is shrinking by the minute with apparently a lot of work to be done.
The situation is worth monitoring as the legal tampering period arrives. If the Saints and Brees haven’t agreed on a deal by Monday afternoon, it could get wild.
I just imagined Drew Brees throwing to Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Dalvin Cook and promptly passed out.
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) March 9, 2018
Me too, Mr. Mays. Me too.