Drew Brees' rise over the past decade is one of the better stories in the NFL. Brees was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers, but they never allowed him to grow as a quarterback. Many variables forced Brees to underperform with the Chargers and they eventually let him go as a free agent in favor of drafting Philip Rivers. Brees' search for a new team was difficult but he ended up finding the perfect scenario with the New Orleans Saints. Brees matured into arguably the best quarterback in the sport and led the Saints to their first Super Bowl victory in 2010.
His run in New Orleans has been spectacular with Brees becoming one of the faces of the sport. Every NFL fan respects him and every casual fan enjoys watching him play. There’s no doubt he will be a Hall of Famer one day and an icon in the Saints organization, but it may be time for a change. Brees will once again become a free agent in 2017 and there’s already reports circulating about the different teams ready to go after him. New Orleans may be attempting to make changes for the future of the franchise and Brees may not be a part of it.
A legend like Brees will command huge money and the Saints may prefer to go younger by parting ways with their star. On the flip side, Brees only has a few years left in his arm before he has to hang up the uniform. New Orleans is in a rebuilding process and likely won’t be contending for a Super Bowl any time soon. Brees will want to compete for another ring in his final years. This creates many intriguing options out there in just a year’s time. We’ll look at what his next move will be with the top 13 early free agent destinations for Drew Brees in 2017.
13 Chicago Bears
Who doesn’t love the idea of spending their career in Chicago? Jay Cutler is running out of time and the Bears organization is running out of patience. The big move to let Cutler go and chase after a true Superstar quarterback is bound to happen soon in Chicago. Drew Brees would be the ideal person to lead the change for the Bears in hopes of contending for a Super Bowl. Alshon Jeffery has established himself as a Superstar wide receiver and Kevin White has a world of potential to blossom into a top player as well. The passing game would instantly become elite with Brees at the helm in Chicago.
12 Cleveland Browns
Drew Brees is regarded as one of the most charitable athletes in sports. The NFL star uses his name value and finances to help out various worthy causes but becoming the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns may be the most generous gesture yet. Cleveland’s football team is in disarray following the colossal failure of Johnny Manziel and the suspension of Josh Gordon. The most important position in the NFL is quarterback and Brees coming to the Browns would give them hope to become a playoff contender. A few wise moves to place talent around Brees is all Cleveland fans will need to finally have some excitement for the team.
11 San Francisco 49ers
Just three years ago, the San Francisco 49ers were in the Super Bowl but it feels much longer than that. The 49ers have completely imploded with a decline into one of the worst teams in the NFL. Things change rapidly in the sport and quarterback is the pivotal position they need the most help with. Colin Kaepernick falling apart ruined the chances of success in San Francisco. Carlos Hyde is a very talented running back but the passing game is lacking big time. Drew Brees coming aboard would turn the train around and give him the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Joe Montana and Steve Young.
10 Buffalo Bills
Rex Ryan is desperately trying to change the culture in Buffalo, but the Bills are missing a quarterback. Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy are tremendous offensive weapons but the quarterback situation in Buffalo leaves plenty to be desired. Buffalo is likely going to struggle for another season failing to make the playoffs and will have to find a new quarterback next offseason. Enter Drew Brees. The offensive weapons and the defensive genius of Rex Ryan will make the Bills an attractive situation for any free agent quarterback hoping to sign with a contender. Brees could be the man to bring a winning football product to Buffalo as the first great QB to play for Ryan.
9 Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are in rebuilding mode and the quarterback position is the biggest vacancy right now. Carson Wentz is hoped to be the QB of the future after being selected with the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, while they still have Sam Bradford on the payroll. There are many question marks surrounding Wentz and Philadelphia has shown the mentality to change plans rapidly. The Eagles can easily ditch Bradford next summer and go after Drew Brees next offseason, to allow Wentz to continue to quietly develop on the bench. Brees has the personality and poise to excel in a pressure-packed situation like Philly.
8 Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton is the personification of the quarterback that excels in the regular season but fails in the playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals need to win now, with their talented roster being good enough to get to the next level. Drew Brees replacing Dalton could be the move needed to finally see the team reach their potential. The firepower of Brees throwing to A.J. Green is a can’t miss combination that would destroy defenses and bolster fantasy football games. The Bengals have an incredibly stable organization, so it's hard to believe they'd make a move like this, but there's no doubt that Brees can get it done in the postseason for this team.
7 Minnesota Vikings
Last season’s Minnesota Vikings team showed the problem with the roster was the lack of a passing game. Adrian Peterson is still an elite running back and the defense is great. Teddy Bridgewater just might not have the ability to lead them to playoff success and that could continue for another season. If it does, Drew Brees could be the missing piece to lead the Vikings into Super Bowl contention rather than having the ceiling of a first round elimination. Peterson and Brees are in the same boat of having little time left at the top of the NFL. The two mega-stars coming together in Minnesota would benefit each other in a great situation.
Sometimes the best option is no option. Drew Brees will be 38 years old by next offseason and you have to wonder just how much he has left in the tank. Many sports greats overstay their welcome and taint their legacy by hanging on a little too long. It could be beneficial for Brees to end his playing days and leave as an elite quarterback. No one wants to have their story end like Brett Favre. Retirement will be an option for Brees and it could very well be the best one depending on how his body handles another grueling season before entering free agency.
5 Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo is a very good quarterback but he may not be the answer in Dallas. The Cowboys underachieved last season and Romo’s injuries have hindered the success of a team desperately looking to win a Super Bowl. Dez Bryant is talented enough to have any successful quarterback view Dallas as a great option. The massive spotlight and the dome are also positive factors that could give Brees a good alternative with the Cowboys. No one will expect it, but the chess pieces could line up for Brees to become the king in Dallas. The offensive line and perk of Bryant as a top wide receiver are impressive to convince Brees to prolong his career in the shocking move, especially if Tony Romo continues to deal with injury issues.
4 Houston Texans
The situation in Houston is pretty good and Brock Osweiler is hoping to become the quarterback of the future for the Texans. Osweiler showed signs of talent in a few starts for Denver last season, but it wasn’t enough to convince anyone he’s the answer. Houston is taking a chance on him but there’s absolutely no guarantee. If he fails, the Texans could be in the market for a new quarterback once again next offseason and Drew Brees would be the obvious choice. DeAndre Hopkins is a top five wide receiver and the addition of Lamar Miller adds another dimension to the team. Brees could put up huge numbers and lead Houston on a deep playoff run if he makes the move.
3 New York Jets
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s contract status is the big news in New York, as the Jets still don’t have their quarterback situation figured out for this upcoming season, so it’s hard to even think about 2017. The team has everything on the offensive side of the field except for the quarterback. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL and the addition of Matt Forte gives them a tremendous pass-catching running back. Fitzpatrick will likely sign a one-year contract with the Jets and they’ll be in the same situation next year. Drew Brees being on the free agent market would create a huge variable. The legend of Brees would grow if he could lead the highly talented Jets team to their first Super Bowl in decades.
2 New Orleans Saints
There’s no place like home and New Orleans has become home for Drew Brees. The massive success of the Saints franchise following Brees signing with the team is unquestionable. While they do want to rebuild and it is a business, Brees has a strong sense of loyalty to New Orleans and what they mean to the community. The safest bet in free agency would be doing whatever it takes to stay with the Saints and ending his career in the place that means the most to him. Everyone will be going after Brees, but the peace of mind in his reliable home is something no one else can offer.
1 Denver Broncos
The absolute best situation for Drew Brees in free agency next offseason will be the Denver Broncos. Following the retirement of Peyton Manning, their tremendous roster is in need a new quarterback. Mark Sanchez is a horrible option and Paxton Lynch isn’t ready to lead a Super Bowl caliber roster. Denver will have one of the best defenses in the NFL making them a credible threat every season in the near future. The elite wide receiver duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will be enough to tempt Drew Brees on the offensive side. Manning was playing his worst football last season and still managed to win a Super Bowl with this roster. Brees will have his best chance at winning another Super Bowl and succeeding with the Broncos.