New Orleans Saints: 10 players that could be gone in 2016

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Dec 6, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half of a game against the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Brees

Yes, I know that people are going to automatically flip their lid with Drew Brees landing on this list. Let me be clear. I don’t believe that this is the way the team should go, but you can’t ignore the angle this presents.

Garrett Grayson is not ready to take over this football team in 2016, no matter who ends up as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints if Sean Payton were not to return. However, the reality is that Brees is the top person on the team’s 2016 roster who could help their salary cap situation out. The tune of $30 million for Brees in 2016 has a $20 million savings opportunity if the Saints should opt to flirt with it.

No, the team will not release Brees and deal with his $10 million in dead money. However, for the sake of the elephant in the room, dealing Brees to another team helps save the team a lot of money and would help them get something good in return. There are multiple teams with a good salary cap situation that could absorb Brees’ final year of his contract and still be in excellent shape.

The other angle, which could be what ends up happening, is that the team honors Brees’ wishes to finish his career in New Orleans, and extend him beyond 2016. This deal could look many different ways, but spreading money over his final years of his career and giving him money upfront figures to be a win for both parties.

Despite wretched offensive line play and inconsistencies at the receiver and tight end position, Brees has proven that he’s still a top quarterback in this league. Brees will turn 37 in January, and should close out 2015’s campaign with stellar numbers. He’s earned a return to New Orleans, but we’ll see what Mickey Loomis and company do with him when it’s all said and done.