If the Saints aren’t treating franchise-tagged quarterback Drew Brees with good faith, then other franchise players could argue that their respective teams have opted to defecate on their respective foreheads.
Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange has gathered quotes from unnamed franchise players and/or their unnamed agents regarding their reaction to Brees’ contention that the Saints’ failure to sign him to a long-term deal traces to his role in last year’s CBA talks.
Said one franchise player: “Nothing against Drew, but he’s kind of become [the union’s] fair-haired boy.” The agent for another franchise player said the NFLPA has been treating Brees “like some kind of a Messiah or something.”
As we pointed out recently, the Saints have offered on multiple occasions long-term deals that would make Brees the highest-paid player in the history of the game. Meanwhile, franchise players like Ravens running back Ray Rice and Bears running back Matt Forte have gotten nowhere, with their teams possibly intent on requiring them to play the 2012 season under the franchise tag.
Other franchise players waiting for long-term deals that may or may not come before the July 16 deadline are Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril, Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee, and Broncos kicker Matt Prater.
Lost in Brees’ beef with the Saints is that the Saints, like any other team, have the right to squat on the player’s rights under the franchise tag and not sign him to a long-term deal. Although, technically, it would be a violation of the labor deal if the Saints specifically refuse to sign Brees to a long-term deal because of his union activities, the NFLPA would need pretty strong proof of malicious intent, when the Saints are otherwise acting fully and completely within their rights.
The good news for Brees is that at least one person — Pasquarelli — is buying the story that Brees had nothing to do with the NFLPA’s effort to claim that the Saints are trying to stick it to their star quarterback. Pasquarelli may be the only one who falls within that specific category.