Is Brees playing his last New Orleans home game?


With all the talk (more on that later today) about whether Saints coach Sean Payton will return, there has been left chatter about 2016 and beyond for Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Much of that comes from a strong sense that franchise quarterbacks stay put, barring serious injury (e.g., Peyton Manning) or chronic inability to fully commit to football (e.g., Brett Favre). But with Brees, his history becomes relevant to predicting the future.

Trees enters 2016 with a bloated cap number of $30 million. That number flows from an effort by Brees in 2012 to get every last penny from the Saints when restricted by the franchise tag. (And he had every right to do it.) There was no hometown discount for his adopted hometown; instead, Brees and the NFL Players Association filed a grievance based on the speculative question of whether the Saints would have to give him a 20-percent raise or a 44-percent raise in 2013, if the team didn’t swap out his franchise tender in 2012 for a long-term deal. (Brees won that grievance, putting even more pressure on the Saints to sign him to a long-term deal.)

The end result was a five-year, $100 million deal, which is due to pay Brees $20 million in 2016. The problem comes from the extra $10 million in money paid out previously to Brees, but which counts against the cap next year. They need to find a way to chop that number to a manageable level, and Brees knows it.

So he can squeeze the Saints for a bigger signing bonus or other large guaranteed salaries via an extension, all in the name of getting the cap number reduced for 2016 and beyond. On Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said that the Saints will be counting on Brees to take a “hometown discount” as part of a new contract with the Saints. But Brees definitely didn’t do that in 2012; whether he will in 2016 may have more to do with whether another team is willing to pay Brees more than the Saints will pay him.

And that could force the Saints to make a tough decision on Brees: Keep him for one more year with a $30 million cap number or move on.

18 responses to “Is Brees playing his last New Orleans home game?

  1. What a greed head. How much money will satisfy him? The Saints have been toast since he extorted that cap killer contract out of them.

  2. Saints fan here. As much as I love Drew his contract has crippled this team. At some point we have to say goodbye to Drew. Might as well get it over now. Do it like a bandaid. Fast.

  3. leatherface2012 says:
    Dec 27, 2015 12:38 PM

    speaking of home game, why does green bay never seem to play on the road? i guess payments to the nfl front office do pay off.
    This would be a stupid statement even for an 8 year old.

  4. Yes, franchise quarterbacks are expensive. Even more expensive is when the team flounders for years trying to replace the lost production. Guys like Brees don’t come around very often; as bad as the Saints, have been he is the only chance they have unless they get really lucky on a draft pick to replace him.

    The NFL is a sad, lonely place for teams without a franchise QB. Hold onto Brees, draft better players on defense is the only way they become relevant anytime soon.

  5. I am starting to think it’s possible only bc he is playing today. Nothing to play for and injured why risk further injury unless you feel it’s very possible this will be a curtain call for saints fans?

  6. Without Drew Brees the Saints will return to the obscurity of life before they got him. There’s just no one on the roster that can step up and deliver what he does, and no one in the upcoming draft with a hundredth of his talent and skill. I want to keep him and play him right up until he retires.

  7. No, I don’t think Brees should take a hometown pay-cut. Why should he? Isn’t it everyday that NFL teams back end deals and cut the players before they come due. Can’t a team cut a player if not performing to the pay but hold them to a contract if they are outplaying the contract? Brees has outplayed the contract, look at the records, not his fault others on the team were paid high and cut creating how much in dead money. That is where the real issue comes from. Yes, Brees salary is too high for next year, that isn’t on him but on Loomis and Payton. If there was not ~15 million in dead money this wouldn’t be as much of an issue; but Brees has played up to his end of the contract; has

    Flacco, 28.5 million in 2016, injured 2015.
    Eli, 24.2 million in 2016, Same situation as N.O. good but team needs help, however not nearly as level playing as Brees over the length of contract
    Big Ben, 24 million if not for Brown and that defense not that good.
    Matt Ryan, 24 million & Stafford, 22.5 million, neither are worth it.

    At least Brees is playing like he deserves the 30 million, that 15 million in dead money could be better DL.

  8. As a saints fan who has watched every single game since drew first got here, I can say that his salary cap is actually not killing the team. This guy IS the offense, and despite some offensive issues, our defense is the real issue. It seems like every year we weed out the big bucks offensive players for some scraps and still end up as a top 5 offense. Random practice squad receivers get promoted on this team and end up looking amazing.

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