Saints’ Drew Brees puts off retirement in free agency-altering decision

Drew Brees will be back for at least one more year, but he may be looking at some new faces in the Saints quarterback room.

After 18 seasons in the league, Brees will return for the 2020 season, Brees announced on Instagram. The 41-year-old signal-caller had previously been “genuinely and seriously considering retirement,” according to Pro Football Talk.

“My feelings about the 2020 season! I look forward to the grind and the journey, for the reward at the end will be worth it!!!” Brees wrote. “Love you #WhoDatNation. Let’s make another run at it!”

Brees finished the 2019 regular season completing 74.3 percent of his passes with 27 touchdowns and four interceptions despite a hand injury that sidelined him for five games.

The Saints’ playoff run ended in the NFL wild-card round in an upset loss against the Vikings.

The move will have a significant impact on the quarterback free-agency market, even as Brees is a lock to stay in New Orleans.

It puts 29-year-old Taysom Hill’s future with the Saints in jeopardy. The versatile player is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason and has been vocal in his desire to be a starting quarterback. He told the Associated Press before the Super Bowl that he is prepared to leave New Orleans if they the team does not share his vision.

“I definitely view myself as a franchise quarterback,” Hill told the AP. “Do I want to leave? The fact of the matter is, no, I don’t, but as you look at free agency, you have to find the right opportunity for you. … If New Orleans doesn’t view me that way, I have to leave, and that’s really where we’re at.”

Hill was claimed off of waivers by the Saints in 2017 after being signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent. He earned $645,000 in 2019 and will be looking for a much bigger payday this offseason.

Hill’s free agency will be an interesting one to follow, as some have pegged him as a potential star after he had flashes of dominance in the playoff loss to Minnesota. However, as ESPN’s Mike Clay pointed out, Hill has attempted 15 passes in 110 career snaps at quarterback. He completed 7 of 15 for zero touchdowns and one interception and the remaining snaps were taken at tight end, from the slot, as an outside receiver and at running back.

It also makes it likely that Teddy Bridgewater will leave in free agency, as he is expected to get a significant raise from the $7 million he made as Brees’ backup last season. The 27-year-old stepped in for an injured Brees early in the season and won all five games. He previously served as the Vikings starter before suffering a gruesome injury during the 2016 preseason.

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