New Orleans Saints: Is Drew Brees', Saints Window Closing?

Adam OdekirkContributor IIOctober 16, 2011

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints warms up for play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers October 16, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints suffered a setback in their attempt to reclaim the NFC South title this week with their 26-20 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. 

The yardage continued to be prolific for Drew Brees, who threw for 383 yards in the game, but the point total did not follow suit as Brees only connected for one touchdown.

Also out of character for Brees were the three interceptions, but that might have been more a function of the inability for the Saints to run and Brees needing to force the issue through the air.

Judging by the statistics, Brees is showing no signs of slowing down this season, but the looming contract extension that Brees is looking for poses two important questions: How much? And how long?

The answers to those questions should be whatever he wants for however long he wants. With Brees under center, the only thing that the team needs to ensure is that they are stocking the offensive line with depth to keep him upright.

Otherwise, he has shown that he can find a spark with any receiver regardless of their history or pedigree. Just look at the rise of Jimmy Graham as evidence for that.

If the Saints continue to find athletic receivers and tight ends for their passing attack, Brees will continue to make them fantasy heroes with gaudy statistics. The addition of Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram have also added longevity to Brees' career.

As long as Brees and Sean Payton are working together in New Orleans, they can reach into the "offensive cupboard" and pull out a player that they can use to be successful.

The window is far from closing on Brees and his productive time left in the NFL. The only thing that will keep it from continuing to be in New Orleans would be the Saints themselves, if they wait too long to reward Brees with the extension he is looking for.