Drew Brees brought up his football mortality unprovoked after the New Orleans Saints' loss in the NFC divisional game to Seattle.

Brees said he's been in the league for 13 years and he doesn't know how many more times he'll have an opportunity to compete in the NFL, sustain his high level of play exhibited during his time in New Orleans and continue the postseason push at the Super Bowl.

Saints coach Sean Payton said during his end-of-the-season press conference Monday he read Brees' postgame comments and he understood where Brees was coming from. And yet Payton said he expressed some strong convictions when he mentioned the buzzword "window" to the players in the final team meeting of the 2013 season earlier in the day.

"Honestly, the window, as long as I'm head coach here, we're trying to slam it open always," Payton said. "And so, you can take each individual player and say when's the window of opportunity. I think I've heard that the last three years. Now with regards to a specific player like Drew, I get that.

"And yet, that window's still all the way open. And I mean that. So we're always in a constant change, if you will, of taking in the new players, evaluating this team ... but that window for us is each year slammed open."

Brees followed Payton's lead Monday.

"You look around and look at the veteran leadership on this team, you look at the young talent, you look at the systems in which we play, this organization and the expectation level that we've set for ourselves, the track record, and you would say the future is as bright as we want it to be. As hard as we're willing to work, it's all there for us. Now every year is a new year and you've got to re-establish that identity every year.