Saints offensive line more upbeat in minicamp _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees greets young fans in June at the Saints training facility in Metairie. Brees is among the favorites to win this season's MVP.

For all his accomplishments, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has never been named NFL MVP.

But the Bovada Sportsbook in Las Vegas on Tuesday gave him excellent odds of winning that trophy in 2014: 11-to-2, second only to Broncos quarterback and New Orleans native Peyton Manning (3-to-1), who has been the league’s MVP five times.

Since joining the Saints in 2006, Brees has become the only NFL player to pass for more than 5,000 yards in four seasons.

No one else has done it more than once.

Brees has taken the Saints to their only Super Bowl win; their two NFC championship games; three of their five division titles; and half of New Orelans’ 10 playoff appearances.

All of those are among the reasons that some argue Brees could go down in history as the best player to never win an NFL MVP if he isn’t chosen for one eventually.

The good news for Brees is that Bovada also predicted he could get plenty of help on offense this upcoming season from two teammates: tight end Jimmy Graham and rookie receiver Brandin Cooks.

Graham opens with 66-to-1 odds to win NFL MVP after leading the Saints with 1,215 receiving yards and the league with 16 touchdown catches in 2013.

The playing deal Graham accepted from the Saints as a rookie in 2010 expired in March, but New Orleans handed him a one-year franchise tag that prevented him from becoming an unrestricted free agent while allowing the team to negotiate a long-term contract extension.

Graham has signed neither the tag nor a new contract. He was technically not under contract Tuesday.

Bovada gave only four players better odds of winning Offensive Rookie of the Year than Cooks (9-to-1), the receiver out of Oregon State and a first-round draft pick for the Saints in May.

In his last year in college, Cooks had 128 catches, 1,730 yards and 16 touchdown receptions, and he was the nation’s top receiver.


“I’d like to average one (sack) a game. ... I want a Super Bowl. ... I need it.” Saints Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Jordan, while talking to NFL Network on Tuesday about next season.