Strief, a seventh-round pick in 2006 out of Northwestern, and quarterback Drew Brees were the two longest-tenured Saints.
If Brees is not re-signed by March 14th, the Saints take on the entirety of that $18 million dead money charge.
While it would have been advantageous to sign Brees to a new deal before his representatives could discuss the parameters of a new deal with other organizations, his camp should have already gathered a good idea which teams would be interested in signing a quarterback before this window opened.
It would ultimate still be a major upset if Brees leaves the Saints, but there's always a chance negotiations could sour.
But it's no secret that other teams would be willing to pay big money to secure a Hall of Fame quarterback of Brees' caliber.
The entire offseason Brees has reiterated he'll be playing for the Black and Gold in 2018.
But we've reached the point on the clock where simply chalking up Brees' Saints return as a fait accompli is a unsafe proposition. "I didn't think this was going to last through my first August, let alone 12 years".
The Saints brass also shared the same message.
General Manager Mickey Loomis, who sat to Strief's left, echoed Payton on what the offensive tackle has meant to the organization.
I don't see why not. "We've been here before". In fact, there was chatter of there being mutual interest between both sides to get a deal done.
This could have a tremendous impact on how things play out for Cousins if the Vikings were to somehow able to pry Brees away from the Saints. However, the Saints have around $33 million available.
Both Brees and the Saints have to be aware of this reality. Minnesota offers one of the most complete rosters in the National Football League on both sides of the ball that just earned a berth in the NFC Championship game.