How will the Saints address their future quarterback opening?
They Could Sign One
Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer (2x), Kurt Warner, Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Drew Brees (!). All of these quarterbacks were veteran free-agent signings who either resurrected or continued their legacies and careers with a new team. Could the Saints find that same kind of success in a quarterback once Brees retires? Well, let’s look at the list of possible free agent quarterback targets for the next two offseasons:
The only names that really stick out are Cousins, Bridgewater, Garrapollo and Ryan. Ryan and Cousins are both seasoned veterans, and Ryan has led the Falcons to a Super Bowl berth. Bridgewater is a fantastic talent, but his health is a question, as he’s coming off a terrible knee injury suffered last offseason. Garrapollo is another great prospect who has learned the game from Tom Brady, arguably the greatest QB ever. Problem is, he doesn’t have much experience, and probably won’t have much more by the time he’s a free agent unless he’s traded or Brady retires early.
Any of those players would be good to great replacements for Brees. But are any of them going to be able to become franchise quarterbacks for New Orleans? Of the quarterbacks I listed at the top of the page, only one (Peyton Manning) actually won a Super Bowl with his new team(s). As said, Cousins and Ryan would be great signings. But Cousins would be 30 and Ryan would be 33. Both would be out of their primes, and would only be able to produce a limited number of seasons for the Saints. Bridgewater had the injury (and accuracy) concerns, Garrapollo will most likely be retained by New England, and Siemian is still unproven.
Near-future signing options are limited and flawed, and trading for a quarterback is risky. So, in other words: