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Saints’ Sean Payton notes that 2020 will be Drew Brees’ final season

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It had been a foregone conclusion since the New Orleans Saints 2019 season ended in premature fashion. Despite his status as a free agent, future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees was going to return to the Bayou.

We had no idea how Brees’ new contract would look. When all was said and done, he took a team-friendly two-year, $50 million deal.

This seemed to suggest that not only would Brees return for 2020, he would also run it back with the Saints the following season.

That might no longer be the case. Appearing on ESPN’s “Get Up” Tuesday morning, Saints head coach Sean Payton referred to 2020 as Brees’ final season.

This is interesting in that Brees retiring following the 2020 season would create a $22-plus million dead cap hit for the Saints.

The backdrop here is the return of all-everything backup quarterback Taysom Hill. New Orleans placed a first-round tender on the restricted free agent, paying him $4.64 million in 2020. Hill, 29, will be a free agent next March and views himself as a starter. Payton made sure to conclude as much in the above-linked video.

Despite missing five games to injury last season, the 41-year-old Brees continued to play at a high level. He completed 74.3% of his passes for 2,979 yards with 27 touchdowns and just four interceptions en route to posting an 8-3 record in 11 starts.