Saints Free Agent QBs: Not So Easy Breesy, Even With Drew Returning
Drew Brees, 41, announced Tuesday afternoon via social media platform Instagram that he intends to “make another run at it” and return to quarterback the New Orleans Saints in the 2020 NFL Season. Brees’ announcement comes after the NFL’s All-Time Leading Passer told media, following the Saints playoff exit, that he would wait “about a month” before deciding on the future of his NFL career. The return to New Orleans makes Brees only the sixth quarterback in NFL history to play at least 20 years in the league (Blanda, Morrall, Testaverde, Favre, Brady).
As the Saints march into the 2020 offseason Brees and Bridgewater are unrestricted free agents and Hill is a restricted free agent. Yesterday, Brees' announcement to return for another shot at the Super Bowl run poses a major question for New Orleans. Who will be Brees' backup quarterback?
DREW BREES, 41 YEARS OLD, 20th NFL SEASON
Brees’ historic NFL career is winding down as the 2020 NFL season could be his final year in New Orleans. The Who Dats affectionately call him “Breesus”. Since 2006, Brees has led the Saints to 8 playoff appearances, 6 NFC South Titles, 3 NFC Championship games, and the franchise's lone Super Bowl victory. It is easy to look at the upcoming season as a “victory lap” or “farewell tour”, however do not question that Brees is looking to bring New Orleans a second Super Bowl title.
For Brees, the plan is clear.. negotiate a new contract with the Saints, return to play in his 20th NFL season, compete for the Lombardi Trophy. Thus, this will finally solidify him as one of the NFL’s All-Time great quarterbacks. The championship window for New Orleans is closing, and it appears Brees is in it for one last ride.
TEDDY BRIDGEWATER, 27 YEARS OLD, 7th NFL SEASON
As for the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Teddy Bridgewater, the future is not nearly as clear as Brees'. In relief of the injured Drew Brees in 2019, Bridgewater strung together five straight victories for the Saints. He immediately became a fan favorite in the Who Dat Nation. After the fore-mentioned stellar season in New Orleans, there are rumors that Bridgewater will have a “strong market” that could land him a multi-year deal worth near $30 Million a year.
Bridgewater was able to exercise some demons in 2019 and proved to the entire league that he is still one of the premier quarterback talents in the NFL. While it does not shut the door on a return to New Orleans, Bridgewater’s open market value will more than likely move the Saints out of the running for his services. Expect Sean Payton to search the market for another veteran to backup Drew Brees.
TAYSOM HILL, 29 YEARS OLD, 4th NFL SEASON
The “Jack of all Saints” showed to be the most versatile weapon the NFL has seen since Kordell Stewart in the late 90's and early 2000's. Hill accounted for seven touchdowns in the regular season (6 receiving & 1 rushing), and became the first player in NFL history with 50 passing yards, 50 rushing yards, and 25 receiving yards in a single playoff game.
Heading into free agency Hill has made one thing clear… he sees himself as a starting quarterback in this league. “I always viewed myself as a quarterback. As I look at free agency, it’s really trying to find an organization that has the same vision that I do for myself and finding that right opportunity.” Hill told CBS Sports HQ.
It is unclear if the Saints view Hill as the quarterback of the future. However, Coach Payton spoke highly of Hill’s quarterback play and a report from Saints New Newtwork's very own John Hendrix suggests that the Saints are poised to turn to Hill in 2021. Hill will head into the offseason ready to listen to offers in free agency and join the team most equipped to make him a starting quarterback now or sooner rather than later.
Who will be Drew's backup next season? Interact with our writers in the comment section below!
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