"I got a few more (years) at least," Brees said on Good Morning Football on Thursday when asked how much longer he was planning to play in the NFL.
"When you first get into the league you think you're invincible, right? You think you're going to last forever. But I understand now, I'm just finishing my 16th season and I'm probably a little closer to the end than I am the beginning. So I just want to create a tremendous sense of urgency for every single year. I don't want to look any further past this year and what's right in front of us. Especially with what we've gone through over the last three years while watching other teams from the NFC South go to the Super Bowl.
Carolina two years ago and Atlanta this year, that's good for those guys and their teams because they've earned it. But I'd like to see us back there and that's what I'm focused on."
This jibes with almost all of Brees' previous remarks about the near future. The 38-year-old signed a two-year, $44.25 million deal in September of 2016, locking him in through 2018.
Advancements in quick-strike passing offenses and health science have allowed players -- especially quarterbacks who take fewer hits -- to play much longer than they would have in previous eras. Brees has also thrown for at least 4,870 yards in every season since 2011.
His consistent fantasy highwire act has had a bit of the Tom Brady effect on the general public, meaning that we often forget to stop and recognize how dominant a stretch the former second-round pick is on. Should the Saints be able to cobble together a running game and a replacement level defense over the next season or two, we might actually see New Orleans return to the playoffs, or at least make a run at the highly-contested NFC South.
New Orleans has not made the playoffs since 2013 and it's difficult to see Brees not correcting that before he hangs it up -- whenever that might be.