Brees: I will be here as long as Saints will have me

Drew Brees heads into the offseason set to hit the free-agent market. The New Orleans Saints quarterback, however, certainly didn't indicate Sunday's heartbreaking loss to the Minnesota Vikings would be his final wearing the Fleur-de-lis.

Asked point-blank Sunday if he saw himself having a future in New Orleans, Brees responded bluntly:

"I do," he said, via The Times-Picayune.

The future Hall of Fame quarterback later took to Twitter, sounding like a man ready to sign on for another tour.

Brees further elaborated on his stance while speaking to reporters Tuesday:

"I'm not in the mood to make anything secretive," Brees said about his contract situation, per ESPN's Mike Triplett. "It's the same way I felt two days ago. It's the same way I felt 12 years ago. That is that I'll be here as long as they'll have me, hopefully."

Unless sides find a quick resolution, Brees will be a free agent when the new league year opens in March. The Saints cannot franchise tag their quarterback.

In the past, Brees has rightly maximized his earning potential with the Saints. He's already on the books to count about $18 million against the salary cap in 2018, regardless of whether he's on the roster or not. A new contract would add to that figure.

While things could change if the Saints surprisingly decide they don't want to pay a 39-year-old quarterback, or Brees unexpectedly switches gears and elects to head elsewhere (John Elway's Broncos could make a run), it would be a shock at this point to see the Hall of Fame-bound QB wearing any other jersey.

After an emotional elimination game, Brees sounded like a leader ready to return.

"We can really make a run at it," he said. "That is, if you continue to have a growth mindset that you're constantly getting better, you're constantly finding ways to stride forward."

Brees' decline was highly exaggerated this season. Those questioning his skill-level need only flip on the second-half of Sunday's epic tilt versus Minnesota, when the QB diced up a very good Vikings defense to lead a comeback charge. With rising star receiver Michael Thomas, a dynamic backfield duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram and an underrated offensive line, the best place for Brees to ride out the end of his career is in New Orleans.