Drew Brees has seemingly been the Saints’ savior over the years. Coming back from what should have been a career-ending injury to establish the timeless legacy he has is a 30 for 30 just waiting to be made, and it’s this resilience that has won the hearts and minds of New Orleans fans across the nation. Yet, the question of his contract extension still looms large in nearly every conversation even remotely involving the Saints.
Training camp has started and negotiations still haven’t stopped. To put the situation in as base terms as possible: Brees wants four more years and the Saints want Brees but don’t want to commit to four years with him. Now, from Brees’ perspective, it only makes sense that he wants four more years. Already having displayed an absolutely remarkable affinity for physicality (his recovery speaks for itself), he also has the numbers to back him; and he doesn’t think they’re going anywhere. In fact, he has even gone so far as to claim that he can play well beyond forty. He’s thirty-seven now so that would make him forty-one by the expiration of his desired contract.
While Brees is no doubt an outstanding quarterback (honestly, legendary may be a more accurate adjective here), that is not say he will stay such. Every player has a shelf life, and as unfortunate as that is, it’s the incontrovertible truth. When Saints Vice President Mickey Loomis was asked how negotiations were proceeding, he responded that the ball is in Drew’s court.
Certainly, this is not Sean Payton’s, Mickey Loomis’, or Drew Brees’ first time around and they all seem to be waiting one another out, or rather, Loomis and Payton are trying to wait out Drew Brees. In the meantime, it is the fans who are struggling with the stress of uncertainty, who have to wrestle with the anxiety of their greatest player potentially leaving the franchise after a historical role with them.
Apparently, Brees has a self-imposed deadline of September 11th, the season opener against the Oakland Raiders, for the proceedings to come to a close. As training camp continues, here’s to hoping that Brees and the staff can compromise so that the fans do not have to suffer any longer than necessary. All this said, the Saints could be in for a fantastic, or a miserable season. As we approach the beginning of the 2016 season, all I can say is—Who Dat?