Payton: Brees is entering his final season

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Taysom Hill, Drew Brees
(Photo: Stephen Lew)

Saints head coach Sean Payton said Wednesday in an ESPN interview that quarterback Drew Brees is entering his final NFL season.

On ESPN’s morning program ‘Get Up’ during an interview with Mike Greenberg, Payton referred to the combination of quarterbacks Brees and multi-diminesional Taysom Hill as “a unique situation with our team and our quarterback Drew Brees is (that) he’s announced he’s coming back for his final season.”

Brees has not previously clarified publicly that 2020 would be his final year playing. He recently signed a two-year contract worth $50 million that was designed to offset a portion of his 2020 pay on the books into the future for salary cap purposes.

Clay Travis of Fox Sports reported earlier this week that Brees had an offer to become a broadcaster for ESPN’s Monday Night Football games after his playing days end.

Payton explained that Hill will continue to play multiple positions as before. New Orleans offered Hill a one-year contract at the first-round level tender this offseason.

Among the other topics discussed in the interview was load management, with Payton saying that it is possible Brees will be more closely monitored in weekly actions including throwing during the week prior to games.

Payton also stated that veteran teams with most of their roster back from a year ago have an advantage over teams that had substantial roster turnover and over those with new head coaches, clearly putting the Saints in the advantageous category.

Despite the torturous endings to the last three seasons, Payton said the Saints remain determined to achieve the ultimate goal and that they have bounced back each time after many questioned their ability to rebound from “The Minnesota Miracle,” along with “The NOLA No-Call” and “The NOLA Push-Off.”

As for the role Taysom Hill will play this season, Payton did not hesitate to spell it out.

“I think the role is pretty clear,” Payton said. “First and foremost, we still view him as a quarterback and we spent a lot of time this past offseason just discussing our vision for him this season. I don’t people realize how fast he is. He’s probably one of the three or four fastest guys on our team.”

Payton elaborated further on that role while addressing the future of Brees.

“He’ll play that ‘F’ position, he’ll certainly be involved in the kicking game,” Payton said. “That’s one of the things he takes pride in and is very good at. The unique situation with our team and with our quarterback, Drew Brees is he’s announced he’s coming back for his final season. I think Taysom sees himself being a starting quarterback in this league and we do, too.”

While Hill will clearly be the No. 2 quarterback, the Saints will carry a third quarterback as active on game day.

“Because of what we choose to do with him on game day, we have to carry a third quarterback just based on the nature of the amount of plays he’s playing,” Payton said. “At any given time, if something were to happen his throwing hand, then all of a sudden, you’re really down to your starting quarterback so we’ll have a third quarterback who will be up each game.”

Regardless of the intent of Payton’s reference to 2020 being the final season for Brees, there are so many scenarios which could take place as the situation plays itself out.

If Brees plays very well and the Saints win the Super Bowl, might he decide to retire and head to television as a top analyst for ESPN?

If Brees does not play as well and the Saints fall back a bit, might he decide to retire and head to television?

If Brees plays well and the Saints come up just short again for a fourth straight year, might he become frustrated enough to decide to retire for television?

Then again, if Brees plays well and the Saints succeed, even at the highest level, why walk away when you and your team are still at a very high, if not the top level of the game?

Let the speculation continue.

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan

Chief Executive Officer

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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