Payton also talked about the complications COVID has placed on cap management
With the salary cap number finally set, the Saints have been scrambling to get under this week. However, there is a Canton-sized elephant in the room: What is Drew Brees going to do? Will he retire after a disappointing playoff appearance last year? Or will the 42-year-old quarterback come back for one last ride?
Sean Payton, it appears, still isn’t sure himself. In an appearance on Morten Andersen’s “Great Dane Nation Podcast,” Payton talked about the many factors going into how the Saints are managing their offseason, including Brees’ status.
“All of that’s predicated on what happens with Drew,” Payton said of how the Saints are managing free agency. “…I think we’re gonna know a few things here in the next weeks. If you and I were on this podcast two weeks from now, I think we would a.) know what the salary cap number is gonna be … and I think we’ll probably know where Drew’s headed relative to his fantastic career.”
The cap, of course, has been set at $182.5 million since this interview. Since that number, the Saints have released several pieces, including Kwon Alexander, Emmanuel Sanders and Janoris Jenkins. Malcolm Brown was also a casualty.
Brees, however, is the final key. Jameis Winston is still waiting in the wings for the Saints, and his status as a Saint will likely be determined by what Brees does. However, with the new league year looming on March 17, the Saints may not have the time to wait on Brees to make that choice. With that in mind, if Payton already knows Brees’ decision, he’s playing it close to the chest. But it seems like Brees is doing a lot of due diligence in-house before committing one way or the other.
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