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The Saints’ Next Quarterback May Already Be In The NFL

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Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 48-41. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 48-41. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The next New Orleans Saints quarterback may have already taken his first NFL snap.

The iconic New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees turned 38 this past weekend. But despite reports to the contrary, Brees has had very little decline in his abilities or production over the last three years. Nevertheless, “Father Time” is undefeated. There is no doubt that Brees’ storied career is coming to an end.

Replacing a legend at the quarterback position often takes years to do, sometimes even a generation. The 49ers following Joe Montana with Steve Young or the Packers following Brett Favre with Aaron Rodgers are the exceptions, not the rule. Just ask Denver after Elway. Or Miami after Marino, or Buffalo after Kelly, or Pittsburgh after Bradshaw.

The point is that it can often take multiple tries, or many years to find even a capable quarterback, let alone a star. The Saints themselves have already drafted Garrett Grayson, in the 2015 3rd round from Colorado State, in hopes that he would sit and learn behind Brees as his “heir apparent”.  Unfortunately, it appears as if this is “strike one” when it comes to finding their quarterback of the future.

Starting signal callers do not necessarily have to be drafted highly, as we all know.

In fact, only 14 of the 32 primary quarterbacks this season were drafted within the first two rounds by their current team. It is highly unlikely that the Saints will draft a QB within the first 3 rounds of this upcoming draft, either because of the other pressing needs on this team or because there does not seem to be any “sure-fire” quarterback available.

Oftentimes, an NFL team will replace a legend such as Brees with solid, young, and affordable veterans until the “next great one” can be found. The quarterback crop in the upcoming free agent pool looks even thinner than the 2017 draft class, but there are a few under the radar names that will be available; either via free agency, or perhaps even through trade for a future late round draft choice.

Now, before you begin thinking that I took one too many blows to the head….well, I did. But hear me out. Tony Romo will NOT be a New Orleans Saint, nor will Kirk Cousins.

I’m looking for players that are not established, are younger, and would be for the most part cap friendly. In all likelihood, the players on this list would be “caretakers” for the young and dynamic New Orleans offense for perhaps a year or two while Sean Payton, Micky Loomis and Jeff Ireland search for what they hope is the next league great.

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