According to Schefter, it’s still possible Brees and the Saints can work something out that would keep him in New Orleans, but it’s clear he won’t be playing under the franchise tag next year.
Brees said previously that there are no contract talks going on with the Saints and he doesn’t anticipate any during the season.
“Right now [no discussions are taking place]. I don’t expect them to. I don’t really desire them to,” Brees said. “I just want to play football and help this team win.”
Nick Underhill points out that even if the Saints could franchise Brees, he would count more than $60 million against the team’s salary cap. Brees’ cap figure would be over $40 million to go along with $18 million of dead money, per Underhill.
Brees, 38, is a former second-round pick of the Chargers back in 2001. After five years with the Chargers, Brees signed on with the Saints as a free agent in 2006.
He’s spent the past 11 seasons in New Orleans and is currently in the final year of his two-year, $44.25 million contract and stands to make a base salary of $13 million this season. Brees would be an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
In 2016, Brees appeared in all 16 games and threw for 5,208 yards while completing 70 percent of his passes to go along with 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.