On Jan. 28, the 39-year-old Drew Brees will have played in his 10th Pro Bowl. He has, without a doubt, carried the Saints franchise on his shoulders since 2006, making Sean Payton the most successful coach in Saints history by a mile.
After what many consider a very successful season, the Saints were one play away from facing the Eagles in the NFC Championship. You probably know what happened next. After the loss, fans and analysts have questioned the team’s future, and more notably, the team’s future with Brees.
As for the age factor, Brees seems to be miraculously unaffected. He finished the 2017-2018 season with a 72% completion rate. That’s the highest rate of his career. Oh, and the highest rate in NFL history. By anyone. He did, however, throw for his least amount of yards in a single season since 2007. That being said, it was 4,334 yards. Not too shabby for old man Drew. He only threw eight interceptions this season. The last time he threw under 10 interceptions was 2004. So, just to reiterate, age has not affected Drew Brees just yet.
The 2017 Saints was undoubtedly their best team since 2009. Many might even say better. The defense went from 31st in the league to 10th (in total points allowed) in one season, thanks to an outstanding rookie class of DBs. On the offensive side, second-year receiver Michael Thomas hauled in an impressive 1,245 yards this season. Rookie running back Alvin Kamara finished the season with eight rushing and five receiving touchdowns. The Saints have finally been able to showcase a stellar draft class.
The Saints may have not finished 2017 the way they wanted it to, but it was a very promising season. The Saints are once again contenders in the NFC. Brees might have himself another championship team behind him.
So if Drew is still doing Drew things in New Orleans, then why would anyone question a bright future for the Saints? The 2018 season will most certainly indicate whether the veteran Brees has any chance at a second ring. If this Saints team can either repeat or improve upon 2017’s season, then you can bet that Brees is more than capable of playing in another Super Bowl. However, if this Saints team has a down year in 2018, Brees may need to look into retirement. Prior to this season, the Saints had three consecutive 7-9 seasons, none of which finished with the playoffs. No one is very confident that Brees can survive another three-year playoff dry spell.
Regardless of the future success of the franchise, most fans agree that drafting a future QB needs to be considered. Some fans and analysts think GM Mickey Loomis should wait another year or two to draft one. Some fans think that Loomis should draft one of the QBs from this year’s stacked draft class and train him under the elderly Brees. Both are reasonable options.
Waiting for Drew to retire before drafting another QB is, however, not an option. Even though Brees has not let has age affect him yet, one day it will. Time will begin to run out for Brees, and his future lies on the success of his team, not his age.