While Tom Brady is moving on from New England, the New Orleans Saints and their own record-setting quarterback Drew Brees have agreed on a two-year, $50 million contract, a person familiar with the situation said.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Tuesday because the deal has not been announced.
Brees has said repeatedly that he is taking career decision one year at a time. His new contract gives the 41-year-old, 19-year veteran the leverage to decide after this season whether he wants to continue playing.
The New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees have agreed on a two-year, $50 million contract, a person familiar with the situation told the AP
Brees missed five games with a throwing hand injury that required surgery but was still productive last season while leading New Orleans to a third straight playoff appearance. Brees’ 74.3 percent completion mark ranked second in NFL history behind only his 2018 record of 74.4 percent.
He also passed for 27 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions and was selected to a fourth straight Pro Bowl, the 13th of his career.
Brees was due to become a free agent this offseason, but he announced in mid-February that he wanted to keep playing and retire as a Saint. So the only real questions were when the deal would get done and how much it would be worth.
In this case, Brees accepted deal that did not place him in the top 10 QBs in the NFL in terms of annual salary, essentially taking a home-town discount in hopes giving the club a better chance to build a Super Bowl contender around him.
The Saints have made the playoffs the past three seasons, including a trip to the NFC title game two seasons ago. Each of their past three playoff losses have came down the final play, with two ending in overtime.
Brees is the NFL’s all-time leader in completions with 6,867, yards passing with 77,416, and touchdowns with 547. His career touchdowns mark is most vulnerable, just six ahead of 20-year veteran Tom Brady.
The Saints have made the playoffs the past three seasons, including a trip to the NFC title game two seasons ago. Each of their past three playoff losses have came down the final play, with two ending in overtime
Brees began his career with the San Diego Chargers, who drafted him out of Purdue in 2001. He joined the Saints as a free agent in 2006 on the heels of a career-threatening throwing shoulder injury.
Earlier on Monday, Brady, who ranks behind Brees in career passing yards and career touchdowns, announced his intention to leave the New England Patriots after 20 seasons and six Super Bowl titles.
The 42-year-old first-time free agent did not reveal his next destination, but he did announce his exit from Foxborough on Tuesday.
‘Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishment,’ he wrote in social media statement. ‘I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and everyone of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.’
While Brady’s future home remains unclear, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are considered the favorites, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers. As Bucs general manager Jason Licht told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, ‘We’re waiting to see what Tom decides just like everybody else.’
Meanwhile Brees’s former backup, Teddy Bridgewater, is finalizing a deal to move on to the Carolina Panthers, ESPN is reporting.
Hours earlier the Panthers announced their intention to trade away former MVP and Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Cam Newton.
And longtime Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers is leaving Los Angeles after agreeing to a one-year, $25 million deal with Indianapolis, according to ESPN.
On Tuesday, the Carolina Panthers announced that they have given quarterback Cam Newton permission to seek a trade, although it’s not yet clear if the Patriots would have any interest in the former Heisman winner and MVP. Newton responded on Twitter by denying that he made a trade request, but in any case, his time in Charlotte appears to be over