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Clock ticks on new deal for Drew Brees

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 16: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints prepares to throw the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Getty Images

In a recent appearance on PFT Live, Saints quarterback Drew Brees reiterated his position that talks on a new contract will end when the season begins. The season begins, if you haven’t heard, in six days.

So the clock is ticking, and Brees continues to hold all the cards. Even though the Saints have found a way to build a roster despite Brees having a $30 million cap number in 2016, the veteran quarterback likely will see the market set his value if a new contract isn’t finalized, given that use of the franchise tag would result, by rule, in a one-year cash and cap charge of $43.2 million.

Brees consistently has said he doesn’t want to leave New Orleans. And the Saints surely want to keep him. But his leverage necessarily points to a better deal than the Saints have put on the table to date, and the question becomes as the season prepares to commence whether the Saints will sweeten the offer in order to get Brees under contract beyond 2016.

From the player’s perspective, last week’s knee injury to Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater underscores the importance of shifting the injury risk to the team. Although Brees has made plenty of money and will make $20 million more this year, his future earning potential would be dramatically limited if he’s hurt during practice or a game.

On the other hand, if the Saints don’t put an offer on the table that Brees regards as worthy of accepting, and if Brees emerges from the season unscathed and still performing at a high level, he’ll be able to request even more than whatever he currently wants.

The talks have been professional to date, with the Saints not, for example, leaking to the media that Brees wants to be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL — like the Giants did a year ago when Eli Manning had the leverage to make more than the $22 million new-money average that represented the top of the market at the time. The Andrew Luck deal has nudged the current new-money maximum to $24.594 million, and Brees is in position to get more than that now, possibly a lot more than that later.

Does Brees deserve more than Luck? Is Brees more accomplished than Luck? Will Brees perform better than Luck in 2016 and beyond?

However those inherently subjective questions would be resolved (and some would easily resolve them by saying, yes, yes, and yes), none of it matters. What matters is leverage. For now, the player’s primary leverage comes from his ability to force his way to the open market, and possibly to a team like the Jets, in 2017. By March, the leverage will be whatever over-the-top offer a team would make for the ability to secure the services and marketability of Drew Brees for one, two, three, or more years on the back end of his career.

At this point, it’s unclear what that amount would be. That probably makes it even harder to determine the proper amount that the Saints should offer now to keep Brees from doing what few healthy franchise quarterbacks ever get a chance to do: Become truly unrestricted free agents.

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40 Responses to “Clock ticks on new deal for Drew Brees”
  1. sportoficionado says: Sep 5, 2016 3:13 PM

    Drew Brees is one of my favorite qbs of all time. A true pros pro, deserves all the accolades. That being said, the saints are not going to pay Brees what he wants (and really what he deserves) because that would be the smart business decision, unfortunate but true. My opinion, the saints should trade Brees to a contender for a ransom and use those picks to continue rebuilding their team.

  2. stealthjunk says: Sep 5, 2016 3:15 PM

    Brees is a great player, but man, his contract is really holding the Saints back from being able to reach the Super Bowl again. It’s only made worse by the fact that he’s no longer in his prime yet his salary continues to climb. I would hate to be the Saints’ GM.

  3. rtl1984 says: Sep 5, 2016 3:16 PM

    Too much money for one player. Need to build a team since this is a TEAM sport. Don’t care if it’s the second coming of Joe Montana with the arm of Favre, it cripples the rest of the team.

  4. randomguy9999 says: Sep 5, 2016 3:16 PM

    man, did the phins blow it or what picking culpepper over brees?

    the Dolphins can’t make a single decision right

    just waiting for another 4 years of wasted time on Tannehill to wash out….. wow is dolphins senior management in the dark….. wow

  5. ipdaily69 says: Sep 5, 2016 3:17 PM

    Max QB contracts crush team depth. Refer to Seattle / Baltimore / etc.
    New Orleans already knows the pain as it has had to shed quality players to satisfy Brees cap hits.
    Brees will learn the extra dollars will not be worth the finger pointing that will be directed at him once another mediocre season gets underway.

  6. eljefedelmundo says: Sep 5, 2016 3:32 PM

    It’s about the guarantees. It always is…

  7. rmavs says: Sep 5, 2016 3:35 PM

    The season begins, if you havent heard, in three days.

  8. haywoodjablomey says: Sep 5, 2016 3:41 PM

    With or without him, they won’t make the playoffs.

  9. bondlake says: Sep 5, 2016 3:44 PM

    DB is now ancient.

    Time to go home to the rocking chair before he gets hurt.

  10. doubleogator says: Sep 5, 2016 4:00 PM

    Great career, put the Saints in the Super Bowl, but time to rebuild, he had a great year last year, but Saints finished 7-9, this year will most probably be 8-8 at best, time to bite the bullet and start rebuilding.

  11. rmac71 says: Sep 5, 2016 4:07 PM

    A new contract? Really? He will turn 38 in January. If the saints were smart, they would not do a big deal. Two years at most

  12. donbat67 says: Sep 5, 2016 4:15 PM

    It’s not a pyramid scheme , it’s an inverse funnel investment plan .

  13. jolly1234 says: Sep 5, 2016 4:21 PM

    I wonder what the Saints front office said to Spielman when he called them last week? (He said he called most every team – and if he didn’t, they should have called him). They probably could have gotten more that the Vikings paid Philly as Brees would be the perfect 1-2 yr answer in MN. The Saints biggest issues would have been solved, shedding Brees’ bill and recouping significant draft picks. Instead, they sat on their hands and will still have the unenviable decision to cut the hometown hero after another lousy year…

  14. stac266 says: Sep 5, 2016 4:22 PM

    Rumor is he wants 4 years and $100 million. Offer him 3 years $75 mil with $48 mil guaranteed. Hell, throw in a 4th year player/team option and lets move on.

  15. silverhat78 says: Sep 5, 2016 4:30 PM

    This is why they have been suffering since they won the Super Bowl. Brees is taking up too much cap space so other talent is not on the roster. The Saints will continue to struggle until Brees either lowers his salary or is let go. Brees is close to the finish line for the NFL so the Saints might just move on from him.

  16. jacktheraven says: Sep 5, 2016 4:37 PM

    I would walk away from this contract. Great career Brees. A HOF career. But, it’s time to move on.

  17. glastron1 says: Sep 5, 2016 4:40 PM

    He sure in hell is going to demand an explanation.

  18. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Sep 5, 2016 4:44 PM

    someone correct me, but is this the same brees that won the super bowl? i don’t think anyone remotely thinks that.

  19. 6thsense10 says: Sep 5, 2016 4:49 PM

    4,870 yards passing 32 passing tds 11 int……

    When I keep hearing people say Brees is past his prime or can’t produce like he use to I look at his 2015 stats and try to figure out what the heck they’re talking about.

    This is a quarterback league. I’ve heard that said over and over and over again by posters on this very site. However I’ve come to conclude that posters only say that when another position player like a wide receiver, running back, etc wants to get paid.

    Now you have one of the premier quarteback in the league up for a new contract and surprise surprise you no longer hear anything about this being a quarterback league. The new CBA capped rookie contracts so veterans who have earned it can get paid more, the new TV money means there’s even more money to spend on a player and the salary cap has risen to teflect this….Unless a team has done a poor job managing it’s cap there is absolutely no reason they can’t pay a top 5 quarterback market value. And at $25 million per season the market for top end quarterback is still depressed because they rarely ever hit free agency. It really should be closer to $30 million per season.

  20. psubeerman21 says: Sep 5, 2016 4:49 PM

    So in the nfl, a qb driven league, the smart move is to get rid of a very good qb? Maybe the saints will win the best business decision super bowl, because they won’t be close to the real one.

  21. patrick102977 says: Sep 5, 2016 4:57 PM

    pay brees !

  22. arwiv says: Sep 5, 2016 5:15 PM

    I have zero respect for multi-MULTI-millionaire qb’s who want to screw their team’s chances of success because they “need to get paid”. If your sole purpose for playing on the team I root for, AFTER you have already made MILLIONS, is simply about your bank account then screw you.

  23. toybkshr says: Sep 5, 2016 5:16 PM

    I’m for the players maxing their earnings, but I’m not sure after what happened with P Manning’s dramatic decline once he turned 38 still fresh in everyone’s mind, that D Brees has as much leverage as everyone seems to think.

    If i were a GM of another team I would not give him 25mil for 4 years. I can see 2yrs with the team able to escape after the 2nd yr.

  24. arwiv says: Sep 5, 2016 5:29 PM

    Am I the only person who thinks that guys who have banked darn near a quarter billion should be more worried about winning a SB as opposed to making more money that they will never need?

  25. thisonesforpat says: Sep 5, 2016 5:46 PM

    Selfish, selfish, selfish. $30 million year is ego, not statistically-based.

    What other team(s) gonna stand in line?

  26. phil325 says: Sep 5, 2016 5:54 PM

    There is no way on this frigging earth that you would pay an aging QB $30 mil, $25 mil let alone a $42 mil cap number. Yes, celebrate his past accomplishments, but if he’d had done ” Brady” the team he’s on now wouldn’t have sucked they way it has with the coach and GM they have. Wake up.

  27. mortyglickstein says: Sep 5, 2016 6:10 PM

    Drew MEes first, team second.

  28. headwoundharry says: Sep 5, 2016 6:34 PM

    Even Peyton took a pay cut. He got a ring.

  29. dejc421 says: Sep 5, 2016 6:35 PM

    thisonesforpat says:
    Sep 5, 2016 5:46 PM
    Selfish, selfish, selfish. $30 million year is ego, not statistically-based
    Agree 100%, can’t see how he can justify being the highest paid QB in the NFL, especially if it’s statistically based. He’s put up some great numbers playing more than half his games indoors and in ideal conditions … great QB, but I can’t see where you can compare a “dome” QB’s stats to those who play in less than perfect conditions.

  30. uglydingo says: Sep 5, 2016 7:12 PM

    Greediest player in the NFL. Where other great players like Brady cut their salary so the team has more money to buy other players, Brees wants as much as he can get. He’s 37 but demands to be the highest paid player. Good luck to him but his all consuming greed is screwing the Saints by not addressing other team needs.

  31. jfcol says: Sep 5, 2016 7:59 PM

    Love him or hate him, read the ESPN article about Brees’ involvement with the pyramid scheme. He’s screwing the Saints with his contract demands. And he’s screwing thousands of desperate people by selling a dream that no one ever attains.

  32. lewsblues says: Sep 5, 2016 8:03 PM

    he should play for $1 million a year for the rest of his career … he’s made plenty of money to insure he and his family will live the good life forever …

    let the team spend the saved money on better talent.

  33. thetooloftools says: Sep 5, 2016 8:20 PM

    CUT HIM.
    He is a money guy.
    He wants his.
    Tom Brady gets it… this guy doesn’t.
    DREW… really?

  34. whenwilliteverend says: Sep 5, 2016 8:23 PM

    At some point the Saints are going to have to move on whether they like it or not. Brees can’t play forever. Can he still play? Yes. However, he’s on the downside of his career. If he’s really asking for 4 years at $100M then he’s fooling himself. I’d be surprised if any team gives him any more than a 2-year contract with maybe an option for a 3rd. The problem is his asking price is just too high. He has the Saints over a barrel and he knows it. He can hit the market but I doubt if any team is going to give him more than $25M/year. My feeling is he’s going to want to go somewhere that he has a chance to win so he’d take less to go there. I bet he hasn’t offered a similar thing to the Saints. He’s a great player but it’s probably time to move on.

  35. sbdt says: Sep 5, 2016 8:38 PM

    This is the third “clock ticking on Brees deal” article.

  36. jackedupboonie says: Sep 5, 2016 8:57 PM

    AARP clock is ticking too. Does this guy wanna win or what. He has made a ton, he sells every product under the stars, maybe stop fleecing for every last $ for your last couple years and make the playoffs.

  37. bucsorbust says: Sep 5, 2016 8:59 PM

    Want Brees to start dealing? Bring in another QB that isn’t Luke McCown. Brees struggled during preseason, think he’s showing his age.

  38. punkyqb says: Sep 5, 2016 9:34 PM

    Once Brees is gone it’s back to paper

  39. eddie1mac says: Sep 5, 2016 10:44 PM

    I can’t believe how everyone is saying Drew is done. In 2015 he was top 5 in qb stats. Brees is just asking for market value, this is a performance based league. I understand his age but the guy is still performing at a high level, elite qb’s do not grow on trees. Every top qb is making 20+ miles a yr, this is a qb driven league. Brees contract is not the problem, it’s all the dead money the saints are carrying on the books. Don’t blame Brees for asking for money based on his performance.

  40. lengai says: Sep 6, 2016 2:52 PM

    It’s fair compensation. The Saints have a lot of dead money that affects the team more than a HoF QB’s salary. Losing dead money, a win-win contract, and rising salary cap will leave the team in a good position of they sign him for 4 years.

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