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Brees highly unlikely to sign franchise tag

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Earlier this week, Saints quarterback Drew Brees said that talks on an extension of his contract has been tabled until after the season, in order to prevent the situation from becoming a distraction.

But it will eventually become a significant distraction, if the two sides can’t get a deal done when the season ends.  Absent a new contract, the Saints definitely will apply the franchise tag to Brees.  Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Brees will not sign it.

If he doesn’t sign it, he won’t be under contract — and he won’t be required to attend offseason workouts, training camp, or preseason games.

Brees eventually could show up on the eve of the regular-season opener and receive the full amount of the one-year guaranteed salary, expected to be in the range of $14 million to $15 million.  But neither Brees nor the team would have the benefit of the preparation that occurs in the offseason and preseason.

Per the source, Brees isn’t upset with the organization.  He simply realizes that it’s part of the business of the game.

That said, if Brees boycotts team activities in 2012, he would open himself up to criticism regarding the perceived abandonment of his teammates, whom Brees worked diligently to keep prepared during the lockout.  For Brees to ensure when the broader labor contract was expired that he and his teammates were ready to go after the situation was resolved but to leave them hanging when only his contract hasn’t been finalized could cause some to accuse Brees of applying a double standard.

But that would be unfair to Brees.  Teams use leverage when they have it.  Players should, too — especially since the occasions on which players have leverage are fewer and farther between then the occasions when the teams have leverage.

That said, the same “how much is enough” question that was directed at Peyton Manning in 2011 and 2004 becomes a fair question as to Brees.  He needs to leave enough money under the salary cap to ensure that other quality players can be signed or retained.

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32 Responses to “Brees highly unlikely to sign franchise tag”
  1. wollam11 says: Dec 18, 2011 11:30 AM

    Doesn’t a franchise tag mean he’ll be paid the average of the top 5 quarterbacks in the league? Why isn’t that enough? C’mon, Brees. Sign the damn thing.

  2. bowens3181 says: Dec 18, 2011 11:30 AM

    There is no way Brees should get more money than Brady or Manning because, while he is amazing, he is not on either of their levels. Brees benefits immensely from having the best offensive coach in the league, and while there aren’t many others with his skill level, he is still not as irreplaceable as Brady or Manning

  3. soumiss says: Dec 18, 2011 11:31 AM

    Mike, you sure are assuming a lot about how the contract situation for Drew will play out. Lets just wait and see what happens after the season is over. Drew and the Saints are concentrating on the season right now, not his contract.

  4. mkepackfan says: Dec 18, 2011 11:32 AM

    If only the Packers had player organized lockout workouts like the Saints did, they’d be 13-0…oh wait, they are.

    Favre still thinks they could’ve gotten to 13-0 earlier.

  5. sfm073 says: Dec 18, 2011 11:35 AM

    Albert pujols version 2. O

  6. robf2010 says: Dec 18, 2011 11:35 AM

    Pretty annoying to this Saints fan that the Saints don’t realize who has the leverage here. He deserves a contract in the Brady/Manning neighborhood. Are they not offering at least that or is he asking for more? I would bet on the former.

  7. grandpoopah says: Dec 18, 2011 11:35 AM

    Saints’ ownership would be extremely foolish and shortsighted to play a game of chicken with the quarterback who saved their franchise. Sure, it’s business. But how can you expect to run a successful business when you refuse to reward your most valuable employees?

  8. i3addog says: Dec 18, 2011 11:39 AM

    For all the players that got burned by teams in the past I say go for it Drew. Make them pay you or let you go.

  9. titknocker says: Dec 18, 2011 11:40 AM

    something tells me that they will get a deal done. money while always important, doesn’t seem like the biggest factor when it comes to this guy. he just wants to win, if leaving a few mil on the table to ensure that they bring in another piece to help them reach the ultimate goal then that’s what he will do.

  10. miami305killerdolphins says: Dec 18, 2011 11:47 AM

    I wish Miami had him! Just pay the man!!!!!

  11. chatham10 says: Dec 18, 2011 11:48 AM

    How much is enough, you could ask that of any player and of any sport. It has and always will be “where is the money”

  12. achamarro1 says: Dec 18, 2011 11:51 AM

    He says he won’t sign franchise tag. But your speculating that he will boycott offseason and preseason activities. What about brees would give you the slightest inkling he would do that.no contract means he will be a free agent also…..hhhmmmm

  13. xxwhodatxx says: Dec 18, 2011 11:53 AM

    The Saints will have a contract for Brees that he’s happy with. They know that no Brees means no playoffs and less tickets sold. Not to mention the fans would kill anyone envolved with the mngmt.

  14. rexachss says: Dec 18, 2011 11:54 AM

    Not “where is the money” its “show me the money” !!!!

  15. beedubyatoo says: Dec 18, 2011 11:58 AM

    “something tells me that they will get a deal done. money while always important, doesn’t seem like the biggest factor when it comes to this guy. he just wants to win, if leaving a few mil on the table to ensure that they bring in another piece to help them reach the ultimate goal then that’s what he will do.”

    ———————

    You’re fantasizing. In the world of professional sports, money trumps loyalty. If he becomes a free agent, watch how many deep pocketed owners reach deep to pay him. For example, bye, bye Romo.

  16. stinkfoot51 says: Dec 18, 2011 11:59 AM

    Brees is the reason the Saints fans no longer wear paper bags over their heads. He is, in fact, in the same company as Manning (who he beat in the Super Bowl) and Brady. He’s about to beat the single season passing record of one Dan Marino. There is no quit in this guy. Who would they replace him with? Kyle Orton? Pay the man.

  17. otis52gsh says: Dec 18, 2011 12:01 PM

    I mean really……who can live on 14-15 million? Gotta put food on the table. Greedy damn owners.

  18. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Dec 18, 2011 12:01 PM

    Isn’t Brees the same guy who sued the NFL in Federal Court during the labor dispute “for the good of the fans”?

  19. nyyjetsknicks says: Dec 18, 2011 12:06 PM

    The saints were a joke of a franchise before he got there. Seriously, this deal could be done over lunch.

  20. fittytuckin says: Dec 18, 2011 12:06 PM

    He should be paid top 3 qb money. He’s younger than both Manning and Brady.

  21. scomibord says: Dec 18, 2011 12:08 PM

    Come on Mike!!! You posted this same “story” at the beginning of the season. As a Saints fan, I have no doubt a deal will get done! While it wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do, I could see Drew showing up w/o a deal done. Mickey Loomis would be tarred and feathered, along with castrated if he fails to lock him up with to a new contract

  22. hookem6903 says: Dec 18, 2011 12:11 PM

    I wouldn’t either, give him a contract. I think he’s earned it.

  23. skippynj says: Dec 18, 2011 12:16 PM

    bowens3181 says:
    Dec 18, 2011 11:30 AM
    “There is no way Brees should get more money than Brady or Manning because, while he is amazing, he is not on either of their levels. Brees benefits immensely from having the best offensive coach in the league, and while there aren’t many others with his skill level, he is still not as irreplaceable as Brady or Manning.”

    You’re either an idiot or a Saints hater which makes you…an idiot. At this level there are a lot of great offensive coaches but precious few QBs who can do what they wish. Brees is one of those few and he is as important to this team as any of the players in the league is to their teams and is completely irreplaceable at this point. But you’re probably a dirty bird so we’ll see you next week in the real dome for an ass-whooping.

  24. dietrich43 says: Dec 18, 2011 12:21 PM

    I don’t blame Brees for not signing the offer. Next topic: Which teams (if any) would be willing to give up two first rounders for signing him as a franchise player? I think Minnesota and Washington would have to consider it.

  25. glynners says: Dec 18, 2011 12:23 PM

    bowens3181…you sir, are an idiot of the highest order

  26. teal379 says: Dec 18, 2011 12:27 PM

    Can’t imagine not signing that franchise tag sign it be a top 5 paid guy and work towards a long term deal.

    He is the 4th best QB in the league. Brady, Manning, and Rodgers are ahead of him and before someone gets all wound up about him being behind Rodgers – Aaron doesn’t throw the INT’s Brees does while playing outside for more than 1/2 of his games – every year. He’s almost a fill percentage point lower on int% than Drew.

    That’s lots of love for a guy who’s the only QB to have lost to a team in the play offs with a losing record.

  27. seanx40 says: Dec 18, 2011 12:39 PM

    5 years, $115 million? Sound about right to all of you? Brees retires as a Saint. Everyone is happy.

  28. logic4sale says: Dec 18, 2011 12:43 PM

    I love how people say “he isn’t thinking about that right now” and “his only concern is the playoffs”. Sure, that is what you would HOPE his focus is but let’s be real. These guys play for $$$… I have no doubt that Brees is looking for one last fat paycheck to finish his career as a Saint. His focus on field is probably 100% on the game but I guarantee that as soon as he walks off of that field, he is asking his agent to “show me the money!” I think the story here is “why”? Why haven’t the Saints “payed the man”? Let’s break this down… Brees is a top 5 QB… possibly top 3. Who could possibly replace him? Pay him, and it will “pay off” for your organization and keep you in the hunt for another SB title for years to come.

  29. cliffordc05 says: Dec 18, 2011 12:55 PM

    I am pretty sure that Brees will reach agreement with the Saints. It is funny when you look at the difference between professional leagues. I don’t remember the ‘how much is enough’ argument ever being raised during NBA negotiations with a player.

    Oh, and by the way, in the NBA the answer is that there isn’t enough.

  30. vikescry1 says: Dec 18, 2011 1:03 PM

    i think there are players who have been paid well that might be willing to wait until the season is over. i’m sure he wants to be paid accordingly and look over his own contract. i’m not a saints fan but i think bree’s has found a home in nawlen’s. i think the writer is reading a little too much into it. so lets wait and see what happen’s before we speculate.

  31. breesforpresident says: Dec 18, 2011 9:04 PM

    Brees = Success

    PAY THE MAN!!!!

  32. CKL says: Dec 19, 2011 4:44 AM

    Let’s not forget, wasn’t Brees sort of burned by the FT in SD when he signed it and got hurt at the end of that year…leading to his exodus to NO? Maybe that plays into his extra reluctance to sign it this time.

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