Sean Payton refuses to discuss whether Drew Brees will return

Vikings just one game away from Super Bowl

DREW BREES is the most notable of the New Orleans Saints' free-agents-to-be. "Hopefully it'll be more fuel than anything and I can just go train as hard as I can".

Former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber, a KFAN analyst, shared that Payton did the Vikings Skol chant gesture after New Orleans' Wil Lutz kicked a 43-yard field goal to give the Saints the lead. "It's the same way I felt 12 years ago", Brees said Tuesday.

That's not to say he won't eventually utilize other teams - the Broncos or Cardinals perhaps? - as leverage.

"The sting of that loss is still pretty fresh for us all", Brees said. "I know where my mindset's been the whole time, and that's that I'll be here". "I feel like we have a great window of opportunity [for a Super Bowl]".

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MORE: Saints fans, do you need another reason to love Alvin Kamara?

The Saints should be good again in 2018, assuming they have Brees. Everything about his future is on him, if he so chooses. "I'll be here as long as they'll have me", Brees said Tuesday in the locker room at Saints headquarters, where players were packing up for the offseason following their dramatic elimination from the playoffs in Minnesota last weekend. As a result, a third franchise tag would cost the Saints a 44 percent increase over Brees cap hit from the previous year. The quarterback, who turns 39 Monday, signed a two-year, $44.25 million contract extension just before the 2016 season, but the deal automatically voids at the end of the 2017 season.

Brees did not decline in 2017.

Brees, who set the National Football League record for completion percentage this season, said he felt this Saints team has a "great window of opportunity" to make a Super Bowl run. "So while I think we do have a talented team, I know that each year you have to go out and prove it". Brees was vintage against the NFL's best defense. "It's about our championship itself, and I think every one of us has that drive to get back". Brees, who turned 39 on Monday, can not be franchise tagged, giving him a little leverage even if he insists he doesn't want to test the market.

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