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Claim of bad faith in Brees negotiations are way off base

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The Saints reportedly are poised to make Drew Brees the highest-paid player in NFL history, and the Saints allegedly aren’t negotiating with Brees in good faith.

We’d hate to see how much money the Saints would be offering Brees if they were acting in good faith.

Lost in the contention that Brees’ role in the 2011 labor talks are being used against Brees in his contract talks is the fact that the Saints have repeatedly made very significant offers to Brees.  In 2011, they made an offer that would have put Brees in the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady ballpark.  In February 2012, they applied the exclusive version of the franchise tag, which put Brees in line for $16.371 million this season, more than $1 million per game.  In March 2012, they offered another deal that would have made him the highest paid player in the league.  In June 2012, they upped the ante once again.

So where’s the bad faith?

Not giving a guy everything he wants isn’t bad faith.  Not blowing out a team’s salary cap for one player isn’t bad faith.

If the Saints aren’t happy with their most important player because of his role in the labor talks, then the other 31 teams presumably like him even less.  So bad faith would have been, at a minimum, using the non-exclusive version of the franchise tag, since no other team would have signed him to an offer sheet and given the Saints a pair of first-round picks if the Saints hadn’t matched.

Bad faith also would have been giving him no franchise tag at all, thrusting him onto a market full of teams that would have collectively lowballed him, as their way of blackballing him.

Drew knows deep down that the Saints aren’t sticking it to him, because of his role in the CBA talks or for any other reason.  That’s why the initial report from Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com regarding the union’s contention that the Saints are discriminating against Brees contains the ludicrous suggestion that “The quarterback did not play a role in the decision . . . with the union moving forward of its own accord.”  Brees wants to squeeze the Saints with an unfounded claim without getting his hands dirty, so he’s hiding behind the notion that the NFLPA has decided on its own, without regard to the wishes of a member of its Executive Committee, to make an outlandish charge that the Saints, by offering consistently to make him the highest-paid player in the league, are screwing him.

Brees has built up plenty of equity in New Orleans and elsewhere over the years.  If Saints fans take the time to see through this one, it could all be gone in the blink of an eye.

None of this changes the fact that the Saints foolishly have delayed getting this deal done.  With coach Sean Payton suspended for the year and with the franchise otherwise in disarray, Brees’ presence during the entire offseason program should have been regarded as critical to a successful effort in 2012 — especially since the Saints’ postseason performance hinges on home-field advantage unlike any other team in the league.

The Saints also had been leaking that Brees wants more money than he actually has demanded.  Stupid, yes.  Bad faith, no.

The Saints need Brees.  The Saints love Brees.  But his role in the CBA talks is irrelevant to the ongoing inability to work out a long-term deal, and Brees knows it.

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12 Responses to “Claim of bad faith in Brees negotiations are way off base”
  1. nygmenruleny says: Jun 28, 2012 5:12 PM

    Golly!! The NFLPA making outlandish and false claims?? Whoda thunk it!! After all, they are all such upstanding play by the rules folks. Just ask the Saints and ex Saints players like Vilma, Fujita and all. And De Smith, WOW!! Never would have thought he would say something that was blown out of proportion or a lie. Guy has never done anything like that before. I am just shocked!

  2. hus10188 says: Jun 28, 2012 5:15 PM

    The Saints also had been leaking that Brees wants more money than he actually has demanded.
    —-
    Brees is really pulling out all the stops to get a HUGE deal. Really looking more and more like a shady character the more these contract talks are public. His ego is out of control and is certainly holding that team to ransom in a small market and obviously need him more than they need him. Quit being greedy, shady and egotistical.

  3. pmd5319 says: Jun 28, 2012 5:16 PM

    I’m a Saints fan and I live in Louisiana. The only people who are blaming the Saints in this negotiation are the morons who didn’t know there was a team in New Orleans until 2006 (Brees arrival/start of being good). It’s the same people who were Cowboys fans until then and will be Cowboys fans again after Brees is done. People who actually follow the Saints know that Brees is the reason the deal hasn’t happened yet. Love Brees, and I know this is his last big deal and he deserves a big one, but when you are turning down $19-20 mil a year, the team isn’t at fault. If you can’t be happy with $100 mil, you won’t be happy with $110 mil.

  4. gotampabay52 says: Jun 28, 2012 6:36 PM

    How can anyone like this guy. He is only for money. One trophy doesn’t make you great. Fix your birthmark and make a mark in the NFL its all about the rings ask Marino

  5. matt2calvin says: Jun 28, 2012 6:37 PM

    Brees has a carefully crafted public image that was assembled by a highly paid PR firm. Now that we are getting a glimpse of the REAL Brees, it is not a pretty sight. The team should sit tight until Brees agrees to the current offer – if he doesn’t, the entire blame will be placed on Brees’ shoulders. I personally don’t believe he is man enough to take it. He will fold like the B**** that he is.

  6. craigmaitland says: Jun 28, 2012 6:55 PM

    Brees is going full on scumbag on this one.

  7. joecoz17 says: Jun 28, 2012 9:43 PM

    The true Drew Brees showed during the CBA negotiations and they are showing again. Guy is looking more and more scummy by the minute

  8. thejuddstir says: Jun 28, 2012 10:13 PM

    “Brees has built up plenty of equity in New Orleans and elsewhere over the years. If Saints fans take the time to see through this one, it could all be gone in the blink of an eye.”………
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    Florio you’re giving Stains fans WAY too much credit. Brees knows he can stick it to the Stains because he does everything he can to keep their attention focused on “I want an explanation” and the bountygate and not on his greed.

  9. whodatgirl1 says: Jun 28, 2012 10:27 PM

    This has nothing to do about what drew brees has said, it has to do with the NFLPA’s baseless claim. Get over yourself.

  10. jason1980 says: Jun 28, 2012 10:28 PM

    What has this country come too, when NFL fans find it annoying that an athlete is trying to get the biggest contract the market will allow? When you apply for a job, do you consider yourself a scumbag for requesting the most money you can get in salary? I guess that’s different, c’mon man!!!!

  11. jessethegreat says: Jun 29, 2012 12:00 AM

    jason1980 says: Jun 28, 2012 10:28 PM

    What has this country come too, when NFL fans find it annoying that an athlete is trying to get the biggest contract the market will allow? When you apply for a job, do you consider yourself a scumbag for requesting the most money you can get in salary? I guess that’s different, c’mon man!!!!
    ———————————————————————
    In this economy? You take the job! If you overplay your hand and haggle too much, someone else will jump in front of you and take your job out from under you.

  12. larryjames836 says: Jun 29, 2012 2:49 AM

    New Orleans Saints fans are not stupid people’s like some of you thank they are they love Drew Brees. But New Orleans Saints Organization has a very smart general manager Mickey Loomis, and Drew Brees knew they offer him highest paid player in the NFL before the season was over he turned it down. Nothing wrong with wanting more money but if the organization offer you what they know that would make you highest paid in the NFL take it. 19 to 20 million a season is a lot of cash. We all are human we make mistakes but telling your fans you love the Saints and trying to broke at the sametime is not love. New Orleans has a honest fanbase they are lovable people’s but you can’t BS them they love Brees so much the only one that’s hurting is his own self. He knows they love him to with so much going on in New Orleans this offseason we don’t know who trying to set who up. So good luck Drew Brees!!

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