Brees appeared on NFL Network’s NFL HQ on Tuesday morning and was asked if he sees any scenario in which he and head coach Sean Payton are not back in New Orleans next season.
“No, I don’t,” he said. “I think we — a plan was put in place throughout last offseason as to how we were going to build a foundation by which to make a run at it in the future. That includes some new faces, that includes some young players that, I think, will all have a chance to come together and kind of build a team that can make a run at it in the future.
“Unfortunately, we had high expectations going into this year and we fell a bit short. But I’m confident with the character, the leadership, the talent we have.”
On Sunday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted that Brees and Payton could both be elsewhere next season. Brees could be a victim of his massive, $30 million cap hit in 2016 and sources close to Payton note that he has his eye on potential landing spots should a change go down.
While this could all be solved with a team-friendly extension, there are lingering doubts. Rapoport noted that the team was not happy with Brees maximizing his contract the last time around, a five-year, $100 million deal that some believe contributed to the depth issues currently plaguing the Saints. And while that is the team’s fault for giving it to him, they could be wary of another deal.
Brees’ comments about a plan that the Saints put together are interesting. The cap is rising and should provide the club with some relief, but how much do they need to get a contender on the board quickly? The team is struggling at corner, on both lines and in the backfield.
He also hinted at getting younger, which should be a goal of every team that isn’t the Indianapolis Colts. Can they do enough work in convincing to let Brees and Payton see it through?