Brees on possible restructuring: Whatever I can do to help


The Saints started their offseason this week, which means that meetings about upcoming opponents will be replaced by meetings about how to build the roster for the 2014 season.

New Orleans is projected to be more than $12 million over the cap as they head into the offseason, leaving them with some tough calls to make as they try to hold onto tight end Jimmy Graham, safety Malcolm Jenkins and other key impending free agents. One place where they might be able to find some money is by restructuring the contract of quarterback Drew Brees.

Brees is set to count $18.4 million against the cap in 2014, which is the third year of the five-year contract he signed before the 2012 season. That number can come down, although it would make for some imposing figures in 2015 and 2016. On Monday, Brees said he’s open to anything and suggested an extension that would allow the Saints to spread the cap hit out over a longer period of time.

“Whatever I can do to help this team, if they want to come to me and extend me even further, that’d be great,” Brees said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “Listen, there are so many possibilities as to what can happen here. Let’s just let this offseason start. It’s what, today’s the second day of it unfortunately. We all wish it wasn’t, but whatever helps this team win and puts the best team on the field.”

Brees turns 35 on Wednesday and he’ll be 38 when his current deal is set to expire. There’s not much reason to expect a quick decline given the way Brees played in 2013, which could make the extension option one the Saints explore because of how much of their cap is set to be gobbled up by Brees’ contract in the coming years.

45 responses to “Brees on possible restructuring: Whatever I can do to help

  1. Yes Brees. You will restructure. You got your money, now help build the line that built you, once again. Follow the lead of that HOF’er in NE….Saints have too many needs to ignore.

  2. There’s not much reason to expect a quick decline given the way Brees played in 2013


    I’m pretty sure the definition of a quick decline means that one year he’ll just fall off a cliff ability wise. If you have warning a year or 2 ahead of time that’s a gradual decline.

    Regardless, he’s definately in the danger zone now let alone with a contract extension. He really wouldn’t be doing the team a favor with a contract extension as most likely they will end up paying him for years he won’t play, essentially a golden parachute for him and a headache for the next GM who has dead money on the cap in 4 years.

  3. I’ll start by saying I’m a fan of both the Saints and Drew Brees. My thought is that if he doesn’t do this his fan base will be much smaller than it is now. We have a good nucleus with a few key components missing; wide receiver with speed, cornerback, offensive lineman, and another playmaking linebacker. Brees said it best, 13 years in the league and how many more chances will he have. How much money do you need to be set up for life after football?

  4. He COULD take a straight pay cut. No extension. No converting salary to SB. No conversion of salary to incentive-based. Just less money, and therefore less cap.

    Lots of these guys want to come off sounding like money takes a back seat to helping the team compete. Most fans don’t understand the cap and buy into it. But it is very rarely true. Usually, only in the case when the team has real leverage to cut the player in question loose into a soft market for their services. Neither condition applies to Brees.

    What he means to say is “I’ll take a different financial structure that robs from future caps to help this year’s cap so I can build a stronger legacy”. Which is no different than any QB with a big $$ deal that I can remember.

  5. Translation ………I’m terribly over paid and after i get more money no way people can pay our d to cheat so people will think I’m way better than i really am

  6. Hopefully QB’s start to figure out that no matter how much they’re worth, they can’t take everything and leave nothing to build the team with. Spending 20% of your cap on one player and 80% of your cap on the other 52 is tough to do.

    At least Brees is good enough that they know they can extend him for two years (if he’ll take it cheap) to lower his cap hit. I feel bad for teams like the Ravens with Flacco. When they get to Year 4 of Flacco’s deal there’s no way in h*ll they’ll be sure they want to extend him, so his cap hits are going to be there to stay unless they cut him.

  7. well, that didn’t take long.. qb’s salaries are outta control.. if you don’t get somewhat of a hometown discount, your just crippling the rest of the team

  8. “Helping out the team” is not the Drew Brees way. He’s a me-first guy all the way. What he should do is forfeit all future road game checks. Guy just stinks away from NO.

  9. $12 million over the salary cap? Child’s play compared to the $31 million mess in Dallas.

    So just remember Saints fans, at least they’re not the Cowboys. At least they’re not the Cowboys.

  10. Lol I love the Brees hate. People hate every QB who’s good. Brees has been a GREAT QB, got his team a ring, and turned the Saints into a perennial playoff team and contender after they were the biggest joke in the league for decades.

  11. If they’re projected that far over the cap, they need to make other moves. Pushing money into future years just makes it worse in the back years of the deal. Even if he retires before collecting the final years of an extension, it’ll still stick the team with dead money under the cap.

  12. I think that this past season taught Drew how valuable the Oline is. No matter how much the game changes, either by coaching, gimmicks, formations, etc. one thing remains constant. Control the line of scrimmage and you win the game.

  13. The Saints have one HUGE out they can take. Cutting Will Smith would have them $11.5 mil in cap space in 2014. Given his drop in production, his age, the fact he’s coming off an injury and that the defense played just fine without him, I suspect he’ll be cut. That is an enormous amount of cap space freed up for 2014. Brees will still need to restructure/take a pay cut though.

  14. If I’m Brees I stop volunteering to wear a bullseye and be the supposed savior of this teams financial structure. The cap is not Bree’s problem, it’s managements. The problem in New Orleans isn’t specifically personnel, it’s scheme. The worst kept secret in the Big Easy is that the offense once unstoppable has been exposed. All saints fans think Brees is God and Sean Peyton is a genius. Ok genius your defense has improved fix your offense– adapt or die.

  15. I wanted to help anyway I could, so I held out and demanded 20% of my team’s cap for the next 5 years, and I guess I can restructure, but I’m not giving up my 20% of the cap….

  16. Sure, give him an extension. Put that money on a “credit card”, and become the Dallas of the NFC South.

  17. Let’s face it, talent-wise the Saints are a C+ team in every way, Brees is what props them up. Get Jones-Drew or a workhorse back, and find a slot receiver.

  18. If he wants to really help the team for the future, he should find the fountain of youth, as the window is closing very fast.

  19. This team is in really, really poor shape from a salary cap perspective. As of right now, they are a little over $9 million over the projected 2014 cap number according to Spotrac. And that’s not including whatever they will have to pay Jimmy Graham (probably another $10 mil). Bree’s cap number is $18.4 mil for 2014, but jumps to $26.4 in ’15 and $27.4 in ’16. Even more alarming is the fact that their starting guards have a combined cap number of over $20 mil in ’14, and that number also increases significantly over the next two years. That’s crazy! The only way they keep their window open for another year or two is to cut Will Smith, restructure/extend Brees, Evans, Grubbs (which is just robbing Peter to pay Paul) and sign Graham to a long-term deal that is really backloaded (which is what got them in this mess in first place). But eventually they are going to have to pay the piper.

  20. All you people talking trash on Brees have to be joking. Give me a break.

    New Orleans Saints: founded in 1967. Drew Brees: Joined team in 2006.

    Pre-Brees: 5 playoff appearances in 38 years; 3 division titles, 1 post season win, ZERO APPEARANCES beyond the divisional round

    Post-Brees: 5 playoff appearances in 8 years, 3 division titles, 2 NFC championship game appearences, 1 superbowl title.

    But yeah, you guys are right- boy does this guy stink!


  21. I really dont understand the hate for Brees..BTW I am not a Saints Supporter.. Brees has done enough to deserve the money… This same problem is coming for Panther, 49ers and seahawks..dont you think they will pay their QB close to 20 Mill…will see how good they will be then when that happens..they have just become lucky with rookie scale wages and getting QB who are not 1st round Pick… reemember this is NFL..not for Long .These are the same people who say Manning is worth every penny and is the greatest QB ever… whos manipulating father could not do anything with these same Saints..

  22. Jan 14, 2014 10:30 AM
    If he wants to really help the team for the future, he should find the fountain of youth, as the window is closing very fast.


    its in st augustine, fl. i went to it last summer. they have a nice gift shop.

  23. Brees made his own contract signing so long and dramatic. It was ridiculous. All so the man would be paid as the top QB. He puts on a front, but the dude is selfish. He needs to take a pay cut. He will be mediocre without Graham for the rest of his career if they can’t keep him. His small size will end up being his demise soon enough when he loses some of that mobility in the pocket. An extension likely wouldn’t spread it out other than this year, only making a bigger mess for the following year…

  24. Drew’s quick release is LONG gone. His movement in the pocket is now nonexistent. His ‘softness’ has been exposed. Drew and coaches ‘smoke and mirror’ offense has been figured out by the good teams. The Saints will still win enough games to make the playoffs and sell tickets. But unless they totally retool the offensive playbook and bring in some fast young receivers that can “catch” the football and bring in a “beast” RB to move the chains and tire out defenses they will NEVER get back to the SB. The Saints defense this year was awesome. The year the Saints won the SB the Saints D was ranked 26. The Saints D was ranked 4th this year. If Drew can’t get the Saints to the SB with a 4th ranked D then that proves something is way wrong with the Saints offense. I don’t care how many yards Drew passes for. I want Championships NOT stats. Geaux Saints!

  25. The value placed on a “franchise QB ” is out of sync and is a league wide problem. GM’s have to get smart and say this is what we are willing to pay a QB because it really doesn’t work any other way. One of the reasons the Pats are successful is the way Brady structured his deal as opposed to Joe Flacco.

  26. 1. Hate on Brees: fans, keep in mind, the Saints were years ago what the Browns are today. Imagine if a coach/QB combo came in and made the Browns a playoff contender and got them a Superbowl win.

    2. Brees should value his health, as well. Less money to him means more money to go to an O-line, which means less hits for Brees. You can always make more money doing endorsements, being an on-air personality, etc. after you retire. But you can never get your health back.

  27. Ofcourse people are talking out of their you know what. First off I would like to say goodbye to Will “fat and slow” Smith. Hes due around 12 mill this year and cutting him gives the saints about 11 or more mill. 2nd I’d like to say goodbye to roman harper who also is due around 7 mill and won’t be here next year. Those two contracts alone get the saints under the cap and more will be done. Those are 2 olayers who are passed their productive days. Brees will most likely restructure by extension. His contract seemed to be set up for it. But when u extend a player till 2019 or 2018 and that player doesn’t plan on playing those yeqrs guess what? When he retires that money doesn’t hurt the saints. Now I do agree that the saints will be in a bit of cap trouble when drew decides to retire. But its not goin to be the end of the world type stuff some of these morons are talking about and to be honest I won’t be that pissed. They would be in a bit of rebuilding mode anyway.

  28. Yes, Brees is an evil man for wanting the money he was promised. Would you take a worse deal from you job? Would you take a paycut? This isn’t generous by any means, but it sure isn’t selfish. This idea that a player should be more considerate of his team is a ridiculous fan idea. This is a players job and he should do whats best for him financially like any normal employee.

  29. These “Great” QB’s paychecks are about 1/6 of salary cap. They are the face of the franchise, the one who can take them to the promised land. 18-20 million – no way. Without everyone else, they are nothing.

  30. He is worth about $12 million per year for three more years. If he wants any chance of winning he has to take less, else, NO should cut him, take the $22m cap hit in 2014 and start over with a new QB.

  31. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of thumbs down, but Bree’s is no where near the QB that Manning or Brady is. He has always been more interested in his own records and padding his stats than being a part of the team. This article just further reinforces my belief on this subject.

  32. They also need to restructure Ben Grubbs, Jahri Evans, Brodrick Bunkley, and possibly Marques Colston and Lance Moore.

    I see the Saints easily getting under the cap with about 5 or 6 million to spare. Loomis will do a phenomenal job in free agency like he always does, passing on the superstar busts and getting just the right role players to make another playoff run.

  33. Do whatever you can Brees. That’s your team. But be wily. Look at Brady. He put the team before himself and look at the players he works with. Imagine what Brady goes through with his rag tag team. It’s a feat what he is doing right now. Make sure you have the guys you need to achieve your goal in exchange for restructuring.

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