Classiest exit: Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief retires from NFL


Classiest exit: Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief retires from NFL

They need a quarterback and plan on addressing that need via free agency, and Brees just so happens to be a free agent this offseason after playing on a one-year contract with the Saints in 2017. However a risky situation could be evolving if the Vikings make an offer that blows the Saints' stance out the water. Teams can not legally make their pitches or offers to free agents until that time period, but they are now allowed to speak with them.

NFL Network reported Minnesota reached out to Brees' agent Monday, the first day teams could conduct contract talks concerning free agents.

Now the other 31 teams in the league can reach out to Brees and attempt to pry him away from New Orleans.

Brees re-structured his contract to cut a cap hit in 2016 almost in half, pro-rating a signing bonus of $18 million over three years, starting in 2018. Signing Brees to a two-year, $60 million deal would allow Minnesota to maximize its window while also keeping the cap clean for when Brees eventually hangs it up. And they're title contenders, having knocked off the Saints in the playoffs to make the NFC Championship Game. But Brees is much, much more than a quality starting quarterback - he's an elite, future Hall-of-Fame quarterback. Surely, there's a gap that would be big enough to get Brees to say, "Well, I know I've said I'll be staying with the Saints, but their best offer is simply too low in comparison to how another team values me". But the NFL, in its persistent search to lock down the entire calendar year with chatter about football, opened up a legal tampering period, which kicked off Monday at noon ET. He appeared in 158 regular-season games with 93 starts, which is the 11th-most games played by a Saint and ranks third among offensive linemen.