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New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton: Didn't mean to imply that 2020 will be quarterback Drew Brees' final season

'I honestly don't know if it's his last year'

**Saints Head Coach Sean Payton** “It’s different now than it used to be. When you see Tom Brady and these guys, they’re eating; they’re lifting; they’re sleeping differently. 25 years ago, Len Dawson was having cigarettes at halftime. It’s changed a lot. It really has. Then, when you take that and the work ethic and the talent and put it all together you get Drew Brees and you get someone special.”

Drew Brees will to play in 2020.

Beyond that, nothing is definitive and Wednesday, New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton confessed that loose lips may have generated a headline where none should have been.

Tuesday, during an appearance on ESPN, Payton intimated that Brees, the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns, might be entering his 20th, and final, season.

Wednesday, Payton said he didn't at all intend to suggest that this season concretely will be Brees' last.

"I'm a big dummy," Payton said during a teleconference with local media. "(Tuesday), we got to chatting on ESPN and I think the way I worded it was, he's coming back for his last year.

"I think, I honestly don't know if it's his last year. I think the thing he's done, and we've all done, is taken it year by year and man, that thing blew up on me. I think his plan is to take it year by year. This year, he spent some time – he spent a lot of time, really – making sure he was ready to come back not only physically, but mentally.

"Obviously, that was my fault and it's not like a big secret that I let out of the bag. But it was more or less, he's back again for another year. And probably in my mind, (it) started with the idea that this year was unique in that he spent some time thinking about, 'Am I ready to come back for another season.' So before we deal with the year after this season, I know the focal point for us will be this season."

Payton also acknowledged that the Saints will have three quarterbacks on the gameday active roster, as they have the previous two seasons. Then, Taysom Hill was the third quarterback behind Brees and Teddy Bridgewater, but Hill plays a multitude of positions, which allowed him to be active on gamedays.

Now, even though he'll be the No. 2 quarterback – the restricted free agent hasn't yet signed his tender offer or worked out a multi-year deal, but New Orleans tendered him at a first-round pick compensation if he signs with another team – he still will remain in his role.

"The uniqueness of Taysom's role will make it important for us to have a third quarterback," Payton said. "But what are we looking for in that third quarterback, is another player we want to develop, work with, and improve and someone that we feel like either we acquire through the draft, potentially through free agency.

"We'll look at all means relative to where that player can come from. We're not specifically saying that has to be a player that comes through the draft. We're not saying it has to be a veteran player. It'll be the best available player that we feel like fits our program. But we know (that) with what we want to do with Taysom, that we're going to have not only a third quarterback, but that quarterback is going to be 'up' (active) on gameday."

THE SHORT LIST: Payton also revealed a list of areas that New Orleans might seek to address in the draft. "We're going to be smart with the draft relative to the grades and paying attention to our board," he said. "There's still a handful of things we're looking at, relative to the kicking game. Interior offensive lineman is something we'll pay close attention to, we think this draft has got some really good options there. Obviously, there's a of receivers in this draft. I think from a secondary standpoint, we'll pay close attention to the corner market. And then I would also say at linebacker."

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