At some point, the New Orleans Saints or Drew Brees will have to decide when the time is up. As great as Brees has been since coming to New Orleans, the fact still remains that he’s only had ONE season where he can say “look what I did”. The stats are there. Brees has thrown for 66,111 yards and 465 touchdowns for his career. However, he has only one Super Bowl to his name. One is good but, for a player with his status, it’s not enough. Look at Dan Marino. He has none but he will go down as the best pure passer in NFL history. Brees is right on his tail but somehow we hold him to a higher standard.
Brees has guided the Saints to the playoffs 5 times in his 11 seasons. Those are not the stats you wish to see for someone who passes for 5000 yards in a year like its 3000. Brees is expected to be mentioned with Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Peyton Manning. Right now, he’s up there with Aaron Rodgers as one of the best to play but in reality, they have nothing but huge numbers to show for their time.
The Saints know that with Bress entering the season at 37-years old and one year left on his contract, this may be his last season in the Big Easy. Friday night the Saints traded leading WR Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots for a 1st and 3rd round pick in 2017 in what is sure to be defensive picks. Why such a move?
Because Drew Bress is still Drew Brees.
The offense will survive without Cooks. In 2016 Cooks caught 73 passes for 1173 yards but, he wasn’t the only productive WR. Rookie, Michael Thomas hauled in 92 passes for 1137 yards and Willie Snead caught 72 for 895. Remove Cooks away from the equation and the Saints still have a dangerous offense, not to mention the 1043 yards on the ground by Mark Ingram.
If the Saints are looking to contend in the NFC South then it must be done on the defensive side of the ball. Bress can throw for 6ooo yards next season but if the Saints continue to play as the 31st ranked defense, those yards won’t matter. The last winning season for Bress and the Saints was in 2013 which also marked the last time their defense was ranked in the top half of the NFL.
To say it’s now or never for Bress would be an understatement. It’s not clear what his plans are when his contract ends but it seems the Saints are focused on going young. They do not want to find themselves in the same boat as the Dallas Cowboys were before the miracle that is Dak Prescott happened or be forever searching for a replacement like the Houston Texans.
One more year, that’s all the Saints and Bress may have left as a married couple. It’s either do or die and with their latest move, it seems they are throwing all their chips in this year.