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Brees, Saints need to work out a deal, now

Drew+Brees+Divisional+Playoffs+New+Orleans+oFapZEKXmuwl Getty Images

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has the team by the balls.  And he knows it.

But he’s also sliding into the role of victim in the wake of the news that his head coach will be suspended for a full season, as of April 1.

I am speechless,” Brees said Wednesday on Twitter.  “Sean Payton is a great man, coach, and mentor.   The best there is.  I need to hear an explanation for this punishment.”

Apart from the fact that he wasn’t literally speechless, the notion that Brees needs to “hear an explanation” continues the not-so-subtle effort by Saints players to ignore the fact that:  (1) these aren’t mere allegations; (2) the NFL has concluded that the bounty system was maintained for three full seasons; and (3) the NFL’s conclusions arise in large part from the fact that men like Sean Payton confessed to the behavior.

To make matters worse, the league concluded that Payton encouraged others to lie about the bounty system when the league investigated it in 2010 — and then presided over a coaching staff that inexplicably continued to maintain a bounty system for two more seasons.

It’s either abject stupidity or extreme arrogance or a little (or a lot) of both.  They had pulled it off.  They had gotten away with it.  The NFL investigated (possibly half-heartedly) the allegations of a bounty, and the Saints said enough to get the NFL to go away.

Basically, the Saints had robbed the bank and avoided the cops.  And then they went back and tried to rob the same bank two more times.

So now, while Brees is trying to comprehend why his head coach won’t be around this season, Brees and the Saints continue to be at impasse regarding his true value on a long-term deal.  On one hand, he has the Saints right where he wants them.  On the other hand, his subtle efforts to gain sympathy for the Saints will fall of deaf ears if he doesn’t bend on some of his own expectations, instead of simply concluding that the team now needs him more than he needs the team — and that owner Tom Benson unexpectedly has an extra $7.5 million to spend given the suspension of Sean Payton.

I continue to have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Brees as a football player.  He has been, over the past six years, the very best quarterback in the league.  And he’s a nice guy, a great teammate, a devoted husband, and a loving father.

But this may not be a good look for him.  Apart from the fact that many of you think he knew that the bounty system existed, he can’t wrap himself in the fleur de lis while trying to hijack the franchise financially at a time when the franchise desperately needs the positive vibes that would come from a new five-year contract with Brees.

That said, the Saints also need to be reasonable.  Instead of pumping fists regarding the impact of Tom Brady’s reduced cap number for 2012 on the exclusive franchise tender that will be owed to Brees for 2012, the organization needs to make a fair offer to Brees that reflects his value as a quarterback and a leader in a season when the Saints desperately will need one.  And Brees needs to begin acting like the leader he is by finding a way to get a contract in place that pays him fairly for what he means to the team without further impacting its ability to do business during a season in which achieving the ultimate goal suddenly has gotten a lot more challenging.

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57 Responses to “Brees, Saints need to work out a deal, now”
  1. marat28051988 says: Mar 22, 2012 10:37 AM

    I hope the Breese remains. Without it saints it will be absolutely bad.

  2. Rex Grossman says: Mar 22, 2012 10:38 AM

    That last sentence. I counted 56 words. Not even a comma in there. Very nice.

  3. suckleague says: Mar 22, 2012 10:38 AM

    What is the question here? He’s the best QB in the league, he should be paid that way.

  4. hatesycophants says: Mar 22, 2012 10:40 AM

    How do you know he’s a “devoted husband and loving father”?

  5. daubs17 says: Mar 22, 2012 10:40 AM

    a great teammate, devoted husband and a loving father. Mike, where do you come up with these comments???? I guess you know Drew Brees personally like that

  6. larrydavid815 says: Mar 22, 2012 10:42 AM

    Pay that man!

  7. jenniferxxx says: Mar 22, 2012 10:49 AM

    Karma … keep running up the score Drew. Yum … those “records” are tasty. So is humble pie.

  8. pharvinisback says: Mar 22, 2012 10:49 AM

    Why would Brees want to play for a tarnished franchise? I mean, you say he is the greatest man ever Mike!

  9. woodyg says: Mar 22, 2012 10:50 AM

    The ultimate penalty for the Saints is not what has been handed down thus far. The ultimate penalty will be a lost season or seasons due to the disarray the bounty system has caused.

    If the Saints slide to the level of a futile team on the field & are only able to win a handful of games over the next year or two, then the full force of the punishment will be felt. It would be fitting.

  10. whatigot8 says: Mar 22, 2012 10:50 AM

    This is a pretty terrible piece…

  11. vikingdoode says: Mar 22, 2012 10:53 AM

    Brees Id walk away….Miami…..Jacksonville……or stay with the Taints

  12. tropboi11 says: Mar 22, 2012 10:54 AM

    Brees, leave now, make the who dat fan’s lives even more miserable

  13. atthemurph says: Mar 22, 2012 10:55 AM

    There isn’t a player on that team over that period of time who didn’t know there was a bounty deal going on and that includes Drew Brees.

    The fake surprise and indignation make me puke.

  14. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Mar 22, 2012 10:55 AM

    Saints to L.A!!

    To early???!??

  15. phillyphever says: Mar 22, 2012 10:56 AM

    Brees needs to wake up and smell the coffee and sign that tender. He doesn’t need to tarnish his image more like he did last year during the lockout.

  16. the1vito says: Mar 22, 2012 10:59 AM

    While Sapp’s source may have been wrong about the who talked to the NFL, it does raise an interesting question that if it is indeed that person, or is some other offensive position player from the Saints, does that further hurt Brees’ credibility as to whether he knew about the bounty system? If other players on offense knew, his separation of offense/defense excuse loses a little bit of credibility (although he can still argue it based on said offensive player only knowing based on relationships with defensive players).

  17. cubanotron says: Mar 22, 2012 10:59 AM

    God I hope it happens soon.

  18. teddybayer123 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:01 AM

    “It’s either abject stupidity or extreme arrogance or a little (or a lot) of both.”
    Yeah. He did know, he didn’t know, but these punishments don’t necessarily make for a huge new, back-breaking contract for Brees. PR move, a band-aid to pacify the fans, nothing more.

  19. sportsfuhnatic says: Mar 22, 2012 11:01 AM

    Great way to start off an article…

  20. joenash72 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:02 AM

    -How do you know he’s a “devoted husband and loving father”?-

    maybe because Brees hasn’t been a part of the “days without an arrest” meter…..

  21. trollhammer20 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:04 AM

    I’d be happy to replace my team’s GM for a day and extend an offer of two second-round picks in exchange for Brees….never know when a couple of second-round picks might come in handy…

  22. 5150cd says: Mar 22, 2012 11:05 AM

    Someone needs to give the guy a quarter so he can go downtown and have a rat knaw that thing off his face.

  23. crustyone72 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:06 AM

    Dump Micky Loomis. As the head of the organization he should have stopped this program. I know that other teams have similar “bounty” programs, just not run by the DC. He did not sign Drew to a long term contract last year when he had the chance to do so before he broke every record in the book. That’s the past to pay the man because he’s proven he’s worth it.

    By the way Bill Polian is available, but tell him to leave his son at home.

    It’s too bad that success has gone to Payton’s head. He’s a great coach, but I liked him so much more before he became an arrogant ass – act like you’ve been there before and 86 the attitude before you turn the Super Bowl Saints back into the Aints.

  24. taintedsaints2009 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:26 AM

    god i hope he leaves. it would be the exclamation point for this offseason, and would destroy the saints forever.

  25. mrslay1 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:26 AM

    Brees needs to be paid now more than ever. What did people expect him to do, throw his coach and team under the bus? Everyone likes to pass judgement on everyone but themselfs. Generaly it is done from jealousy.

  26. eaglebobby says: Mar 22, 2012 11:29 AM

    The fact that “Benson has an extra $7.5M to spend because of Payton’s suspension” has no bearing on Brees’ contract since coaching money and salary cap money for players is separate. And actually, he has 500K less since that is the fine they recieved.

  27. mjhutmkr says: Mar 22, 2012 11:30 AM

    You’re nothing more than a punk, Drew.

    Yo’re owed no explanation at all.

    After your comments during the lockout regarding the veterans players who came before you, I’ve no respect for you at all.

    Rumor has it you want more than $20-25 million per season as a starting QB for a team that’s dishonest and used illegal tactics to “win.”

  28. winningisabrees says: Mar 22, 2012 11:32 AM

    TEST

  29. ballboy48 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:32 AM

    If Holmgren was a smart man, he’d give the Saints a few first rounders and bring Brees to Cleveland, after he agrees to a new deal!

  30. turbodog1027 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:33 AM

    Saints will be 11-5 and NFC SOUTH CHAMPS in 2012. No doubt and King Rodger I will be scratching his head wondering how they did it.

  31. sfsaintsfan says: Mar 22, 2012 11:34 AM

    Drew Brees will be back, and he will lead the Saints to their second Super Bowl victory in New Orleans.

    It will be an “us against the world” type of year.

    Does anybody else remember what the Patriots did after spygate?

    The only difference this year is that the Saints will actually win the Super Bowl.

  32. nolarules says: Mar 22, 2012 11:35 AM

    Kind of suprised that NFL dictator didn’t strip away the franchise tag and make Brees a free agent. Would have been right in line with what he did.
    And let’s be real. If Payton had not lied to him, Payton would not have gotten a full year. So just for the record, lying to the dictator brings along the same punishment by the league as killing a man while driving around drunk (Stallworth). Seems about right. You don’t lie to GOD

  33. jakek2 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:42 AM

    The Saints, Cowboys, Redskins, Loomis, Payton, Williams, Vitt and anyone else effected by this tyrant’s rulings should just ignore him and continue on as normal. There needs to be a mutiny soon or this egomaniac will succeed in completely ruining the NFL.

  34. jagsgrl says: Mar 22, 2012 11:47 AM

    Drew Brees demanding an explanation was so funny

  35. bigjdve says: Mar 22, 2012 11:48 AM

    Loomis is out for awhile maybe some different dealing can be done.

    However, I don’t know if he is worth what he is asking for. In his position, I would sign the tender with the understanding that they can’t franchise him again.

  36. nineroutsider says: Mar 22, 2012 11:50 AM

    I think the Saints are going to need a highly motivated player/coach Brees. Just pay the man; if anyone deserves “Peyton money” it’s Drew Brees.

  37. grandpoopah says: Mar 22, 2012 11:52 AM

    Hold on a minute. In one paragraph you claim that Brees has been the “very best quarterback in the league” for the past six years. Then in the very next paragraph you imply that Brees is “hijacking” the Saints franchise because he has so far refused to sign a deal that, in the words of the team’s GM, would pay Brees like a “good, not great” quarterback. If the guy is great (and he clearly is), and the team wants to pay him like he isn’t, and the player refuses to sign for less than he is worth, how does that constitute a hijacking?

  38. daltex says: Mar 22, 2012 11:55 AM

    “he can’t wrap himself in the fleur de lis while trying to hijack the franchise financially at a time when the franchise desperately needs the positive vibes that would come from a new five-year contract with Brees.”
    Oh yes he can. And you better bet he will. He needs to think twice about signing because he isnt getting a superbowl with that team for awhile.

  39. cags777 says: Mar 22, 2012 11:58 AM

    At first, I was willing to go to bat for him for wanting a new long-term contract. He appeared to say the right things and has acted like a great leader on a football team. But given his “speechless” comments and praise for Payton and demanding an explanation Wednesday following Goodell’s announcement, along with the fact that he clearly knew that bounties were taking place on his team, Brees should walk. At least now he and the rest of the organization can’t continue milking a tragedy like Hurricane Katrina.

  40. rbirving says: Mar 22, 2012 12:05 PM

    give Brees a dollar more than Peyton got to sign with the Broncos and try to salvage the worst off season any team has ever faced. What a cluster fudge!

  41. crustyone72 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:05 PM

    The difference is that Stallworth didn’t continue to kill people while driving drunk once he was told to stop.

    Payton’s arogance is what led to the 1 year suspension.

  42. tradog36 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:08 PM

    If the “Taints” don’t want to give him a long term deal then just leave. He deserves the money because he’s a top teir quarterback. The guy is an elite player and should be paid like one. After this bounty scandal the Taints are really gonna need his leadership on and off the field. Who dat????? There go them “New Orleans Taints”!!!!!!!!!

  43. cwalker4205 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:10 PM

    I understand that people think the Saints will play with a vingence this year, but how are they going to win anything with the scrubs they have to sign on defense to cover the suspensions that are coming?

  44. annes22 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:24 PM

    I can’t believe Drew Brees didn’t know anything about this. Does he leave the locker room and not hear anything?? Sean Peyton deserves everything coming to him, he should have been honest with the NFL and not tried to hide it all. Not many feel sorry for him now, unless you are a NO fan. They should have the Super bowl taken away too, they won that, or cheated their way to it in 2010 also. As for Greg Williams, just take your passport and go and find an island somewhere. How embarassing can this be?

  45. saintsfan1111 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:35 PM

    The truth of the matter is that Drew Brees probably has a bounty on his head whenever he walks out on a field. The pathetic hypocrisy in this reeks.

  46. bmwaldrop says: Mar 22, 2012 12:38 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised it some offense players, like Shockey, and others, like Brees, didn’t know about it.

    A QB spends a lot more time watching film then an a-hole like Shockey.

  47. jamiebuf12 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:43 PM

    What is Drew Brees god? He needs a explanation? last i saw he was a player and not a owner.his team was asked if they had a bounty system.they lied about it and said they didnt.the nfl sent letters saying not to do it so the saints did it anyway for two more years.it was found out that they did indeed do it.the defensive coordinator said sorry and so did the head coach….the nfl punished them for it,next a bunch of saints players are going to get punished as well…..what do you not understand drew????

  48. billygoat says: Mar 22, 2012 12:49 PM

    If I was Brees my starting point would be more than what Manning got.

  49. randomguy9999 says: Mar 22, 2012 1:00 PM

    There is no way brees didn’t know or highly suspect….

    The fact is, he was ok with cheating by maiming the other team instead of beating them at the game….

    And that makes him at best the”see no evil as long as it gets me a ring” guy

    So he will forever be the leader that got a ring by being fooled or closing his eyes to assault and battery…. And that erases anything he is as a person….

  50. kate773 says: Mar 22, 2012 1:00 PM

    He has been, over the past six years, the very best quarterback in the league.
    ________________________________

    Nope. He’s been ONE of the best but Mr. Manning and Mr. Brady are also in that mix, even including Manning missing last year. I’d include Rogers but he hasn’t been starting for 6 years. I could be wrong on that, but I don’t think he has.

  51. randomguy9999 says: Mar 22, 2012 1:08 PM

    And what’s more, if he’s such a great dad… I’d like to see him sit his kids down and with a straight face, make the excuse that he, as the teams leader in the locker room, was so incompetent that he didn’t know, or so immoral that he knew and thought it was ok…..

  52. mjkelly77 says: Mar 22, 2012 1:28 PM

    Rex Grossman says:Mar 22, 2012 10:38 AM

    That last sentence. I counted 56 words. Not even a comma in there. Very nice.
    ___________________

    Sister Elizabeth would have called it a run-on sentence in need of punctuation.

  53. egwett says: Mar 22, 2012 1:54 PM

    I’m not going to read all the above comments to confirm that anybody else caught this but, ummm, Tom Benson does not have an extra 7.5 million to spend bc of Sean Payton’s susp. Coaches salaries have no effect on the salary cap!! I know u know this but the way that paragraph read that’s what it implied.

  54. saint4life says: Mar 22, 2012 3:54 PM

    Before writing this article, did you take a second and look at your own archive? The saints offered drew , I think it was $20.5 mil and he turned it down. That would make him the highest paid QB in the league right? This site is almost laughable that the writers are not what they use to be. I hope the Saints put a late hit on every QB this season!

  55. dapros says: Mar 22, 2012 4:02 PM

    Benson is being really cheap. Brees deserves a contract commensurate with his ability. He has delivered and will continue to deliver. Why should Benson try to use the tag to pay him way less than market value after everything he has done to lead the Saints? Show a little respect or your team will be returning to historical form.

  56. severinsmith says: Mar 22, 2012 4:24 PM

    I’d love to be a troll on this point, but the whole thing bums me out. The Saints aren’t my first team, but I really like watching them, and have always thought Brees was a total class act, and amazing to watch.

    I do think the bounty thing is despicable, but I kind of wish that the league had focused more on the players posting bounties and the coach (Williams) who seemed to really push it. He should be banned from the league period, but I feel like Payton’s punishment may have been too harsh. Suspending him for an entire season seems like it will really derail the team. I would have thought heavier fines and losses of draft picks would have been more appropriate. I am surprised by Brees; statement though.

    I’m no expert at any of this stuff, but that’s just my opinion from what I’ve read.

  57. monkeyboymotors says: Mar 22, 2012 7:40 PM

    brees is just like his mom. that is why they didn’t get along, and he knew about bountygate. or is shockey just that much more aware and smarter than brees.[bye the way sleezy breesy the NFL did explain]

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