Saints quarterback Drew Brees received last week the franchise tag. Specifically, the Saints gave him the exclusive version of the tag, which makes him eligible for a one-year salary equal to the average of the five highest 2012 cap numbers for quarterback, as of April 20.
The non-exclusive version of the quarterback franchise tender is expected to be in the range of $14.4 million (we don’t know the real number because the league has yet to finalize the 2012 cap number, which is critical to determining the non-exclusive franchise tenders). It’s unclear what the exclusive version will be, but in the past two days the contracts of Peyton and Eli Manning have taken a chunk out of the eventual calculation.
On Wednesday, Peyton’s cap number for 2012 plunged from $17 million to (for now) zero.
As Alper pointed out earlier, Eli’s 2012 cap number has dropped from $16.35 million to $9.6 million.
And so, in a roundabout way, these contracts will impact the average of the top five quarterback cap numbers as of 2012.
But there’s hope. If Peyton signs a front-loaded deal with a high cap number for 2012, that could help nudge Brees’ franchise tender higher.
And the fact that Brees and Manning are represented by the same firm could make pumping up Peyton’s 2012 cap number a slightly bigger priority than it otherwise would have been.