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If Drew Brees does not retire, that could put the New Orleans Saints between a rock and a hard place financially.
No team in the NFL is in a worse situation up against the 2021 salary cap than the New Orleans Saints. It would only be worse if future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees returns to the Big Easy for a 16th season.
The Saints are roughly $66.4 million over the salary cap for 2021. Though 10 other NFL franchises are in the red, the second worst cap situation belongs to the Philadelphia Eagles at around $40.5 million over the cap. The Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons are the three other teams at least eight figures over the cap, so they are all in rough shape, too.
Getting Drew Brees’ contract off the books will help the Saints get under the cap
Brees signed a two-year deal worth $50 million last offseason in his free agency. Though he is only slated to make $1,075,000 in base salary, he will command $5,750,000 in a signing bonus and count as a $12,225,000 cap hit. He also carries $22,650,000 in a dead cap hit. No matter how you slice it, the Saints have kicked the can about as far as they could go up against the salary cap.
While Brees should never play for another team at this point of his illustrious career, Saints fans would be kidding themselves to think he can carry them to another Super Bowl. Brees has been hurt the last two years and every NFC South rival has been to the big game more recently than the Saints have.
If Brees does come back, look for that to have crippling financial ramifications for the 2021 Saints.