The New Orleans Saints won't make a quarterback change ahead of the 2018 NFL season.
Drew Brees and the Saints have reached an agreement on a two-year contract worth $50 million, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The veteran quarterback will have $27 million guaranteed, and the team holds an option for the second season. This deal also includes a no-trade clause.
"I think that provides certainly the team with the most flexibility when it comes to being able to anticipate the future and the ability to acquire free agents and re-sign players on our existing roster that will build a championship team," Brees told ESPN about his unique contract.
New Orleans had until the beginning of free agency to sign Brees to a new deal, or $18 million in dead money would have counted against the team's cap for 2018. Several other teams, including the Minnesota Vikings, also reached out to Brees in an attempt to lure him away from the Big Easy.
Brees, who helped the Saints to the NFC divisional round last year, will now enter his 13th season as the team's starting quarterback. New Orleans ranked second in team offense and fifth in passing last year with Brees under center. He turned 39 in January, insisting all along that he wants to be a "Saint for life" and didn't seriously consider leaving the franchise.
"I love my team and am excited about the opportunity we will have together," Brees said. "There was no doubt in our minds, I think both myself and the Saints, that we were gonna get a deal done. It was just a matter of what was the most fair deal for me and for the team to put us in the best position to succeed in the near future. And that's what we tried to do with the deal."
Brees led the Saints to their first and only Super Bowl title during the 2009 season, and became the first $20-million man in NFL history with a five-year, $100-million deal in 2012. He has thrown for 58,097 yards and 408 touchdowns with the Saints - the most by any quarterback in any 12-season span in NFL history - and is on pace to pass both Peyton Manning and Brett Favre in 2018 to become the NFL's all-time passing yardage leader. Brees needs 1,496 yards to break Manning's record of 71,940, and 52 more touchdown passes to break Manning's NFL record of 539.
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