The legend of Tom Brady will be going on somewhere other than New England. Philip Rivers has started every game for the Chargers since 2006 but he’s not in the franchise’s future plans and could be headed to Indianapolis. The Carolina Panthers are willing to let Cam Newton test the trade market (but whose idea was this?) and are now looking to bring in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (via ESPN’s Chris Mortensen). Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Jameis Winston led the NFL in passing yards as well as turnovers and his future with the club is in doubt.
It’s the NFL’s version of Wheel of Fortune as there’s been no offseason in recent memory where there was so much quarterback chatter. But amidst the intriguing chaos is the knowledge that the National Football League’s all-time leader in passing yards (77,416) and touchdown tosses (547) will be returning to the franchise that signed him as an unrestricted free agent in 2006.
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Drew Brees was the first pick in the second round in 2001 by the then-San Diego Chargers. He lasted five seasons with the club but in 2004, the organization drafted Eli Manning with the first overall pick in the draft and turned that into Rivers and several other selections. Following the 2005 season, the former Purdue Boilermaker aerial wizard hit the open market and just when it looked like he was headed to South Florida, well…Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun Sentinel has the real story.
Hence, Brees and head coach Sean Payton both arrived in the Crescent City in 2006. The rest is history as the team has made its share of playoff appearances and won a Super Bowl (ironically) in Miami three years later. And now he’s re-upping with the Saints, who have won a franchise-record three straight division titles. Yes, there’s been some heartbreak as of late. But Payton’s team is one of the few in the league that has reached the postseason each of the past three years.
And now Brees will return to the Big Easy via a two-year, $50 million deal (via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport). He comes off a season in which he threw for 2,979 yards and 27 scores with only four interceptions in 11 outings. He connected on a riveting 74.3 percent of his throws in his 19th season in the league. And now he’s back to make it an even two decades in the NFL, with few signs of slowing down.
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