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Report: Drew Brees Restructures Contract, Creates $24M in Cap Room for Saints

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIFebruary 6, 2021

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) works against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Drew Brees has not committed to returning to the New Orleans Saints for his 21st NFL season, but he provided the franchise with plenty of salary-cap relief should he choose to keep playing.

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Brees restructured his contract to receive the minimum base salary in 2021, creating nearly $24 million in cap space ahead of free agency.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

The #Saints renegotiated QB Drew Brees’ contract to drop his base salary in 2021 to the minimum, per source. This allows them to carry him on the roster past June 1 and drastically reduce his 2021 cap hit presuming he retires (as @Jason_OTC said).

Jason_OTC @Jason_OTC

Per league source the #Saints have renegotiated Drew Brees' contract to open up nearly $24M in cap space for 2021.

A team that's been a Super Bowl contender for four straight years now, the Saints could use that money to add the depth and skill that would help them win the NFC for the first time since 2009.

Brees' contract renegotiation came just two days after head coach Sean Payton expressed hope the team would re-sign backup quarterback Jameis Winston.

"A lot of times you want to hold your cards closer to the vest [with a] free agent," Payton told NFL Network's Good Morning Football. "But him along with Taysom Hill, we've said it all along, we're gonna develop and coach those guys. And Jameis is one of those guys that we have a big interest in."

Of course, both Winston and Hill would once again take a backseat to Brees should the longtime Saints starter return.

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In 12 games last year, Brees passed for 2,942 yards and 24 touchdowns with just six interceptions. His passer rating (106.4) reached 101.0 for the sixth consecutive season, and his sack rate ranked second in the league at 3.2 percent.

Brees also went 9-3 as a starter and had his team one win away from the NFC Championship Game.

Even as he contemplates his future in the NFL, Brees is finding ways to be a team player.

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