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Brees now has more leverage, but he’s even less likely to use it

nfl_g_brees03jr_576 Getty Images

Before Friday, Saints quarterback Drew Brees had plenty of leverage.  Even though he can’t join another team, he can skip the entire offseason program, all of training camp, and all of the preseason, signing the franchise tender and earning the full amount of the offered salary only days before the start of the regular season.

By not signing him to an acceptable long-term deal, the Saints have been banking on Brees not using that leverage.

In the wake of the disclosure that the Saints used a bounty program for three seasons, the franchise and the city will need Brees now more than ever.  With multiple suspensions coming of defensive players and coaches, Brees needs to be fully engaged in everything the team is doing as the team prepares to try to win games without, for some finite period of time, coach Sean Payton.

For that very reason, the Saints will be tempted to guess that Brees will now be even more likely to sign the franchise tender and show up for the first day of the offseason program.  With the team on the ropes and fans who regard Brees as the greatest player in franchise history (which he is) looking for Brees to provide the same hope that he continuously has given them since arriving six years ago, Brees is less likely to do anything that would undermine his image and legacy.

It would be wrong for the Saints to take advantage of Brees’ nature.  But that’s exactly what the Saints have been doing.  Now that the city will be even more anxious about Brees’ status, failing to show up could squander a large chunk of his goodwill.

Still, it’s time for the Saints to do the right thing and pay the man who will need to prove right away that his Super Bowl victory and other accomplishments weren’t skewed by the efforts of a defense to inflict injury on its opponents.  Don’t be surprised, however, if the Saints try to take full advantage of his own personal desire to prove those points, regardless of what he’s being paid.

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29 Responses to “Brees now has more leverage, but he’s even less likely to use it”
  1. AlanSaysYo says: Mar 5, 2012 2:13 PM

    Don’t go thinking the big bad Saints are going to take advantage of poor little Drew Brees. That guy always has a plan – and always knows where the cameras are.

  2. kmurph1226 says: Mar 5, 2012 2:15 PM

    I used to have a lot of respect for the Saints because of what they did for their city in a time of need, but now I only respect a few offensive players that actually have moral values, like Brees, Graham, and a few other class acts. Not the defensive headhunters and the coaches who approve of it.

  3. delmonte55 says: Mar 5, 2012 2:16 PM

    It is too bad that the Saints organization haven’t treated Brees right. He is a class guy and will not cause public issues for the team.
    Proving again, it is a business.

  4. orcheon says: Mar 5, 2012 2:19 PM

    Drew Brees comes off as just about the nicest guy in the NFL.

    Nice guys make less money.

  5. j0esixpack says: Mar 5, 2012 2:21 PM

    Let’s not rule out that he may have paid a defensive lineman a bounty to blindside tackle the GM if they don’t get serious about negotiations.

  6. cmack21 says: Mar 5, 2012 2:24 PM

    lets not forget their owner is a blowhard.
    he was about to bolt for LA the second after Katrina & THE NFL MADE HIM STAY IN NEW ORLEANS

  7. howmanyringsyourteamgot says: Mar 5, 2012 2:25 PM

    Oh please, the Saints are doing him so wrong offering him $18M a year??? He’s more interested in being the highest paid player ever and crippling their efforts to resign any of their other free agents. Once they get stripped of valuable draft picks that they’ll no doubt need to fix that defense and replace Nicks at G the Saints will revert back to an also-ran team with a stat padding QB and not much else.

  8. bearsstillsuck says: Mar 5, 2012 2:27 PM

    Brees is a douche that likes to run up scores for stats and the defense are a bunch of head hunters, that team is just garbage.

  9. tropboi11 says: Mar 5, 2012 2:27 PM

    Even with the bounty’s the Aints defense was still nothing special, their offense is what has won games, but their title is tainted cause there should have been way more penalties on the Aints against Favre and the Vikings which would have cost them the game for sure

  10. Loose Changeup says: Mar 5, 2012 2:27 PM

    Skipping training camp was never a realistic option for Brees. His value, aside from his accuracy, is in his leadership. If he shows that he’s willing to quit on a team over contract details, his future value goes down. He has to get in there and lead the offense.

    And the Saints really had no option but to franchise Brees, given the bounty news. Until we know what the punishments are going to be, how can anyone sign a long term deal with a team, not knowing how the coaching staff will be gutted, how many draft picks they’ll lose, etc.

  11. rickastleydancemoves says: Mar 5, 2012 2:31 PM

    This is karma for the the gm trying to lowball Brees.

  12. ampats says: Mar 5, 2012 2:43 PM

    The Saints know a couple million $$ bill is coming from the league .

  13. fthrvic says: Mar 5, 2012 2:43 PM

    I don’t understand why the Saints haven’t ponied up on this one when all you hear as a fan is how this league is built around premier pocket passers. Go ahead and test those waters Saints, you fell into Brees when Miami didn’t pursue him with concerns about a shoulder problem that never manifested. He’s obviously invested in the team and your community and only lights it up through the air 14 to 16 games a year. What’s the problem New Orleans???

  14. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 5, 2012 2:44 PM

    If any of you fans of loser teams (especially in the NFC South) think that Brees is going to “not try as hard” this year because they franchised him then you’re dreaming. He realizes he has a finite number of years to play at the highest level in his career, I doubt he’d be as shallow as all of you to think that he can tank it for a year and still be successful.

    Don’t ever ever ever compare Brees professionalism to the professionalism you employ at your cubicle.

  15. clayton43 says: Mar 5, 2012 2:45 PM

    Right, and God sent him to N.O. to get paid the highest of any NFL player. Reportedly the Saints offered him 18 million per year.. that wasnt good enough for him and his religious beliefs.

  16. lombardihero says: Mar 5, 2012 2:49 PM

    14 million dollars I would let you saw one of my legs off at half time. Of course i’m holding out all training camp…..

  17. brtdud7 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:13 PM

    “fans who regard Brees as the greatest player in franchise history (which he is)”

    Oh, did the Saints trade an entire draft for Brees? No? Then he isn’t the best player in franchise history.

  18. lameasish says: Mar 5, 2012 3:14 PM

    I just can’t seem to accept the whole “Brees should take less money so they can sign other players”. You can say that about every player on every team. Any player can choose to take less money for the good of the team but Brees is the only player getting ripped for not doing it. I do understand he gets paid a ton more than other players but guess what, he deserves more money than a CB or WR.

  19. jessethegreat says: Mar 5, 2012 3:15 PM

    I’d love to see Brees giving a press conference in a few weeks telling New Orleans.. “See ya, I’m too good for this chit”.

  20. nesfan1 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:19 PM

    Saints are trying to do the right thing and pay the man. 5 years $90 million is exactly what Brees should be making. Brees is being greedy & unrealistic. He could have signed long-term last year or any time this year. Time to stop bashing the Saints. They’ve handled this exactly as they should have.

  21. musicman495 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:21 PM

    No one begrudged Brady or Manning or even rookies like Bradford their money, now loser fans have decided that Brees is a bad buy because his coach left him in a game for one last series to break a record, rather than take him out to break it the next week. BFD. Brees has done nothing but be a stand up guy for his team and his union and his city, and he gets trashed because he is trying to get the most money he can after playing out his contract. Just like every other free agent in the league. And if the Saints are so sure he is not worth it, why don’t they let him test the open market? Gee, could it be because about 16 teams would be ringing his phone?

  22. nineroutsider says: Mar 5, 2012 3:35 PM

    ilovefoolsball says: Mar 5, 2012 2:44 PM

    If any of you fans of loser teams (especially in the NFC South) think that Brees is going to “not try as hard” this year because they franchised him then you’re dreaming. He realizes he has a finite number of years to play at the highest level in his career, I doubt he’d be as shallow as all of you to think that he can tank it for a year and still be successful.

    Don’t ever ever ever compare Brees professionalism to the professionalism you employ at your cubicle.
    ————————————————————
    Don’t you mean: “Don’t ever ever ever compare Brees professionalism to the professionalism employed by his team.”

    That would make much more sense seeing as how they are the least professional team in the league from the very top down.

    A Saints fan scolding us on professional, what a joke!

  23. schmitty2 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:38 PM

    ilovefoolsball says: Mar 5, 2012 2:44 PM
    If any of you fans of loser teams (especially in the NFC South) think that Brees is going to “not try as hard” this year because they franchised him then you’re dreaming. He realizes he has a finite number of years to play at the highest level in his career, I doubt he’d be as shallow as all of you to think that he can tank it for a year and still be successful.

    Don’t ever ever ever compare Brees professionalism to the professionalism you employ at your cubicle.

    Ok Brees lover tell me this-let’s say that you compare your salary to others in your area who do exactly the same thing. You routinely produce far more than they do yet they make a ton more. How motivated and “professional” would you continue to be?

  24. trueski21 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:40 PM

    10 million for brees, 10 million for the mole

  25. jpmelon says: Mar 5, 2012 4:11 PM

    If you’re the best, you should be paid for it. Bree’s is arguably the best, so he should be paid like a top-3 QB.

    Manning played with absolute garbage in Indianapolis because he took up most of the salary cap….but he still won most of the time because he was worth it. I think Brees is capable of the same type of success.

    I hope he doesn’t show up for practice if/when they apply the franchise tag. He’ll set an example for all NFL teams that you can’t take advantage of a guy just because he’s a class act. If he really supports players rights, he’ll stay home.

  26. mrslay1 says: Mar 5, 2012 5:34 PM

    I hope he doesn’t show up for practices either. He has done enough for NO and it’s team. If they don’t appreciate him for what he’s worth then he should give them what they pay for.

  27. anarchopurplism says: Mar 5, 2012 6:02 PM

    Deal will get done week or 2 before 1st team spring practice. He wants 23 avg…..they want 18. They’ll settle in near 19/20…..depending on upfront $ and term.

    Neither party wants a holdout. NO isn’t THAT stupid.

  28. n001363 says: Mar 5, 2012 9:26 PM

    Drew, stay out all season long. You will be the hunted quarterback in the revenge bounty!

  29. jfdane says: Mar 6, 2012 9:59 AM

    I agree they need to pay the man for his football talent and more importantly what he did and still does for the city.

    I can’t stand reading your reports right now though when you ASS-ume that coaches and players will be suspended etc etc.

    Typical lawyer wanting to string people up.

    Reading how you justify the rapist COX in getting out of jail with our CRAP legal system and then you assume guilt with everyone in the saints is driving me nuts

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