When Drew Brees announced he would return for the 2020 season, the underlying message conveyed included zero concerns about getting a contract done.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback is not under contract for 2020 but has said he only wants to play in New Orleans. Brees announcing his return without a deal already in place suggests neither side considers it a big deal.
Sean Payton, speaking Wednesday night on WWL Radio in New Orleans, suggested Brees' new contract will end up similar to his old ones -- which included dummy years to help spread out the salary cap hit.
"Every time that subject has come up -- and it's come up a number of times -- ... where they're working on a contract and they always seem to get it done in an efficient manner," Payton said via Amie Just of the Times-Picayune. "I think that won't be any different this time around."
In fact, Payton noted that restricted free agent quarterback Taysom Hill's new deal might be more troublesome than Brees'. The coach noted that putting a first-round tender on Hill could be on the table.
"If he was unsigned prior to the league year, I would anticipate us really paying close attention to that and looking at that first-round tender," Payton said of Hill. "That'll take some time, relative to his contract because it's unique in what he's doing now and what we feel like he can be and what he can do when Drew does retire. That will probably take a little more work than the contract that Mickey [Loomis] does with Drew."
Hill has said he doesn't want to leave New Orleans, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't cast his line into the free-agency pond to see if another team is willing to pay him a truckload more to be the future signal-caller.
If the Saints get a sense that another squad is planning to make a run at Hill, the first-round tender could come into play. Would another club give up a first-rounder to give a soon-to-be 30-year-old quarterback his first shot at a full-time gig? It's doubtful. The first-round tender would cost more for next year but would likely ensure Payton doesn't lose his new backup quarterback, with Teddy Bridgewater expected to sign elsewhere.
Beyond what tender New Orleans uses, how Hill's contract is structured will tell us plenty about how long the Saints believe Brees will continue to play, and how ready Payton believes Hill is to take over.