The New Orleans Saints offseason gameplan is at least partially hinging on Drew Brees’ decision to return to the team or to retire.
That predicament puts the New Orleans Saints in a tough place as they attempt to look towards the future of the organization.
It’s tough for a few reasons, one being that the Saints, even without Brees, have limited cap space. According to Spotrac, the Saints have the fifth-least amount of cap space, looking at just over $12 million available.
The Saints have 20-plus free agents that’ll need to be signed and only small offers to toss at them. That means players like Eli Apple won’t be receiving the type of offers they desire, potentially pushing them elsewhere.
As it impacts the Saints, they need to know, both for the draft and free agents, if they need to hold the bulk of that space to re-sign Teddy Bridgewater. It’s assumed that, if Brees retires, Bridgewater is the rightful heir to the throne.
That means the team’s interest in Bridgewater may be high, but without the knowledge of where they’ll be allocating their money, they may not be able to make any sound guarantees to the potential franchise quarterback that was an undefeated 5-0 in 2019.
Then, you have even Taysom Hill that’ll be impacted by Brees’ decision.
A restricted free agent, Hill will be looking to sign elsewhere once March 18 hits. Will the Saints be able to match the contract that another team proposes to him? The better question is, given their various needs, will they want to?
Hill and Bridgewater’s future, to go along with the team’s draft and the bulk of their free agents’ future, could rely on Brees’ decision. The 41-year-old Brees completed a league-high 74.3% of his passes, notching the highest percentage in the league for the third straight season.
In 11 games, he threw for 27 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has truly shown no signs of slowing down, one reason the Saints would likely welcome him back with wide-open arms. However, they don’t know if he’ll be returning for a 20th season quite yet.
That decision is the big one for New Orleans and much of their offseason will depend on it.