Entering the NFL offseason, this year’s list of free agents is star-studded. This time, there are multiple superstar quarterbacks whose 2020 future is uncertain. For example, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott, and Jameis Winston are a few names that come to mind. But also uncertain about their future is the most accurate quarterback in NFL history, Drew Brees. Brees is coming off of his age-40 season and would be 41 in the 2020 season should he choose to play. In this article, we will look at the free-agent profile for the one-time Super Bowl MVP.
Drew Brees Free Agent Profile
Brees’s 2019-20 Season
To begin his free agent profile, we have to look at what Brees did in the 2019 season. Due to injury, Brees only played 11 games last season, which hurts his stats. Shockingly, Brees threw under 3000 yards for the first time since the 2003 campaign, getting close with 2979. Despite that, the rest of his numbers are as good as ever. He completed 74.3% of his passes and had an outstanding touchdown-to-interception ratio of 27 to four. In addition, thanks to a stellar offensive line, Brees didn’t face much pressure and was only sacked 12 times.
His receiving group was Michael Thomas and not much else, as Alvin Kamara played hurt most of the year. This, along with getting the ball out second-fastest amongst quarterbacks (2.57 seconds), are reasons for his numbers being lower. From what we saw last year, Brees showed he is still someone you can trust with the keys to a franchise.
Projecting Brees’s Play in 2020
However, father time is undefeated. Even though Brees figures to stay a reliable quarterback, at age 41, expectations must be adjusted. In the playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Brees wasn’t able to lead the offense effectively, and the team shockingly lost in the wild card round. The most effective player in that game was fellow free agent, Taysom Hill. That’s a note of concern to carry into next year. But if Brees comes back, the offensive line figures to remain mostly intact (Andrus Peat is their only lineman needing to be brought back). Since Brees has never excelled in running with the ball, having the same o-line would be a major asset.
His arm strength could be a concern, as we saw less deep shots the previous two seasons from Brees than in past years. The ability to make big plays down the field might not return, but his historic accuracy should carry over and be the best part of his game. A healthy Brees with better players around him would give the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl aspirations once more. But the days of Brees competing for the most passing yards are probably over.
Will Brees Return?
So far in this free agent profile, we’ve talked about Brees’s next season in the conditional tense. This is because as of the time of being published, we don’t know if Brees wants to return or not. We know his contract is up, so he could retire, sign with another team, or end up back in New Orleans. One thing for sure is that Brees will remain with the Saints if he returns. Just before the Pro Bowl, Brees said in an interview, “At this stage of my career, it’s not a given that I’m coming back every year, but when that time comes, I’ll always be a Saint.” Brees figures to have a decision made before the start of free agency, which is March 16th.
Free Agent Profile Takeaway: The Game Will Miss Brees When He’s Gone
If there’s anything to take away from reading this, it’s to appreciate greatness. Where you place Brees on your respective all-time lists is up to you. Though there’s no arguing that Brees has been one of the elite quarterbacks in the game for over a decade now. Never knowing when an all-time great is going to retire is scary. With the rise of Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, we’re seeing a changing of the guard at the top of the position. The Saints might still be successful with Hill or Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, but fans of the NFL and Saints will miss Brees whenever he does hang it up for good.
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