The New Orleans Saints have built their team around Drew Brees for years on end. The star quarterback managed to keep them relevant for a while, and even got them a Super Bowl following the 14-2 2009 season. But recently, he hasn’t quite been able to keep up with the annual defensive incompetence New Orleans puts on display year after year.
Next year, he won’t have to: he’s set to be a free agent in 2017, and the Saints will have to find a way to keep him around, or face the prospect of collapsing to the bottom of the NFC South. New Orleans won’t be able to tag him: his cap hit this year is a whopping $30 million, and a franchise tag next season would come in above that number. Unless they want to cripple their team in other places, that is — but they’ve been building up a massive salary cap deficit for years on end, and that is going to hit them sooner or later.
One option: they target Mike Glennon, as Sean Payton has commented on his love for the lanky backup. I wish them luck if they go that route. Glennon’s a good backup and maybe a solid bottom-of-the-NFL starter, but he hasn’t shown he can be anything more than that. Which is probably why the Bucs weren’t able to find a trade partner for him.
Whatever they do, this may be the last season of Drew Brees in New Orleans. And that means the Bucs will have one less yearly competitor for the NFC South crown. With Jameis Winston on the rise, Cam Newton on top, and Matt Ryan hitting his mid-thirties, the Bucs and Panthers may be starting a long-term battle for the division. That’ll be fun to watch.