Sean Payton may have spilled the beans on when Drew Brees is going to retire

New Orleans Saints

Speculation about when Drew Brees will retire is an annual thing, but Saints’ head coach Sean Payton may have given away his quarterback’s plans.

Drew Brees recently signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, but at 41 years old he has been clear he evaluates his future every offseason. So while 2020 could be his final season in the NFL, a formal announcement surely isn’t coming until after next season and perhaps for a few months after.

Of course, this could all be spoiled with one slip of the tongue.

Sean Payton appeared on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Tuesday, talking about his recovery from having coronavirus and some football-related matters. The conversation went toward the quarterback room, and multi-faceted role that’s still envisioned for backup Taysom Hill in 2020.

Payton brought up Brees, with a money quote.

“Then the unique situation with our team and with our quarterback, Drew Brees, is he’s announced he’s coming back for his final season. I think Taysom sees himself as being a starting quarterback in this league and we do too.”

Payton seems to have given away Brees’ plans to play one more season and call it a career.

During a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Payton walked back his words.

“I’m a dummy. His plan is to take it year by year. That was my fault,” Payton said.

The Saints seem to see Hill as Brees’ successor, perhaps as soon as 2021. After placing a first-round restricted free agent tender on him this year, they’ll have to pony up on a multi-year contract for Hill if they want to keep him. Any doubt about Brees’ future, for as long as it lingers into next offseason, will inform that decision.

Next: 2020 NFL Draft: 5 prospects who could crash Round 1

There is a simple scenario where Brees decides to retire, likely voiding the second year of his deal and clearing up the Saints’ financial books for 2021. But, as suggested by Mike Florio on PFT Live Thursday morning, could Brees wind up playing elsewhere in 2021 as the Saints commit to Hill?

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