Perhaps a little too close for the comfort of New Orleans Saints fans, but their franchise quarterback is back in the fold.
Drew Brees, a free agent who was less than 24 hours from potentially ransacking the Saints' cap situation this year whether he was on the roster or not, is signing a two-year, $50 million deal including $27 million guaranteed. The guaranteed portion falls well below the likes of Matthew Stafford's and Derek Carr's monster deals, but it's reflective of a quarterback who's said he's OK with a year-to-year commitment as he winds down his illustrious career.
And, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, that's exactly what this deal is: a one-year pact, meaning the $27 million ties Carr for the most among quarterbacks in 2018, with a '19 team option and a no-trade clause — helping ensure Brees retires with the franchise he's meant as much to as any other player.
Both sides acted as if agreeing to terms was basically a foregone conclusion. And after Brees' agent, Tom Condon, started fielding calls from outside suitors including the Vikings, the deal was finally struck.
The Saints just authored their best season since winning the Super Bowl, an 11-5 division title campaign after three consecutive 7-9, non-playoff finishes. And although Brees was asked to do less, attempting his fewest passes in a full season as a Saint, less meant more as New Orleans led the league in passing while blossoming into a better complementary football team with the aid of Rookies of the Year, RB Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore.
Indeed, the Saints' future is seemingly brighter than it's been in years, but Brees' deal was the 600-pound elephant in the room. Now the 39-year-old seven-time passing champ is one step closer to finishing his career with a Saints club that might be equipped to send the future Hall of Famer off by riding into the sunset.