Saints' Drew Brees: No Timetable to Decide on Future Ahead of Free Agency

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2020

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 05: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after fumbling the ball during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

As he approaches free agency this offseason, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is in no rush to decide on his next move.

Brees discussed his future during an appearance on NFL Live on Wednesday.

"I wanted to give it at least a few weeks, months, postseason," he said. "Just to take a deep breath and decompress a little bit and get some time with the family and then just reassess."

The 13-time Pro Bowler added that spending time with his family and getting their input will be among the most important factors he'll consider before he makes a final choice.

Brees was limited to 11 games in 2019 after tearing a ligament in his right thumb. He still threw for 2,979 yards with 27 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Between 2004 and 2018, the 41-year-old had missed just four games, so he had never experienced the kind of layoff necessitated by his thumb injury. As he neared his return in Week 8, he told reporters how his time away offered him a new perspective on playing in the NFL.

"A lot of it was excitement," Brees said. "As game time approached, it turned into gratitude and grateful for the opportunity to get back out there again. Grateful for this team and for this moment and being able to have this moment. I feel like there are a lot of great moments ahead."

That stretch also provided New Orleans with a taste of life without Brees under center. The Saints will presumably allow him to take as much time as he needs to contemplate retirement.

Mike Triplett @MikeTriplett

GM Mickey Loomis said the Saints want Drew Brees back as QB as long as he wants to keep playing -- “no different than it’s been the last few years,” even though he’s technically a free agent. “It’s easy to take him for granted yet I don’t take him for granted,” Loomis said.

Having said that, the earlier he makes an announcement, the better.

Teddy Bridgewater went 5-0 as Brees' understudy, throwing for 1,384 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions and looking capable of working in a starting role again.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Drew Brees returns to the Saints today. Teddy Bridgewater held it DOWN in his absence. ◽️ 5-0 as starter ◽️ 9 TD | 2 INT ◽️ 69.7 completion % ◽️ 103.7 QB rating League’s highest-paid backup for a reason. https://t.co/sbM21Y7t7f

Bridgewater would be an obvious candidate to succeed Brees, but he's likely to have a lot of interest throughout the NFL in free agency, which officially begins March 18.

As long as Brees makes up his mind sooner rather than later, the Saints could look to re-sign Bridgewater or target a quarterback early in the 2020 draft in April. Were he to wait until late spring or early summer, New Orleans could be left in a difficult position.