METAIRIE, La. (AP) – Drew Brees says he still expects to remain with the New Orleans Saints as long as they’ll have him.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 04: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints warms up during pregame against the Detroit Lions at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 4, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

READ MORE: Appeals Court Ruling Keeps Abortion Ban In Place In Texas

The quarterback says he knows he’d have the leverage to shop around if the Saints don’t reach an extension with him before the new league year starts in March. However, the 39-year-old Brees says he doesn’t plan on that.

READ MORE: Amtrak Train From Fort Worth Crashes In Oklahoma, Four Hurt

Because of the way Brees’ contract is structured, the Saints would lose $18 million in salary cap space if they fail to reach an extension with Brees, who says he sees potential for New Orleans to build on a season that was on the brink of continuing to the NFC title game until a stunning, last-second Minnesota touchdown Sunday.

Meanwhile, veteran right tackle Zach Strief, a Week 1 starter who spent most of the season on injured reserve, says he hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll retire.

MORE NEWS: Critical Race Theory Law Could Be Behind Latest Southlake Racism Controversy

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)