Guaranteed money could be the sticking point on a Drew Brees deal

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The Saints and quarterback Drew Brees could have (and maybe should have) worked out a new contract before the start of the new league year in March. An extension would have reduced the player’s $30 million cap number for 2016, and it would have ensured that Brees will remain in New Orleans for years to come, most likely until he retires.

They didn’t, and the clock is now ticking on the possibility of a deal not being finalized before the start of the regular season, when Brees pulls the plug on negotiations. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports recently pondered several aspects of the situation, citing multiple named sources who have pegged a Brees extension in the neighborhood of $95 million to $100 million over four years. Based on numbers available to PFT, a $100 million extension over four years would set a new record high for “new money” ($25 million per year) and total value at signing ($23.5 million annually).

The problem comes from determining how much of the contract will be fully guaranteed at signing. If, as Robinson notes, Brees declines significantly in 2016, the Saints would potentially be stuck with the deal through 2018 or so, if $65 million or more is fully guaranteed.

If Brees doesn’t decline, he’ll emerge from the 2016 season with the ultimate hammer. As PFT has mentioned a time or two over the past few months, the fact that Brees was tagged once in San Diego and once before by the Saints means that, if the Saints use the franchise tag on him in 2017, the tender amount would be determined by multiplying his 2016 cap number by 44 percent.

That’s $43.2 million. For one year.

It means that Brees most likely would have his value determined by what another team would pay. While there’s a chance that Brees would encounter a Ryan Fitzpatrick-style marketplace in which no one else offers anything close to what the Saints will pay, there’s also a chance that a team like the 2009 Vikings will see Brees as a late-career Brett Favre, who in his first year in Minnesota nearly eked out a Super Bowl berth in an epic NFC title game against Brees and the Saints.

Fitzpatrick didn’t draw significant offers in part because his presence won’t sell tickets, PSLs, jerseys, and other stuff. Brees would likely move the needle at the cash register — and he could help turn an otherwise talented team into an immediate contender. Here’s a guess (and it’s just a guess): The Jets, the Dolphins, the Bills, the Browns, the Broncos, the Bears, and/or the Cardinals each could have interest, depending on where things stand after 2016.

Much of it depends on how Brees performs this year. The question for now is whether the Saints are willing to assume the risk of Father Time’s inevitable victory over Brees coming in 2016 or beyond. If the Saints guess wrong by paying Brees, they’ll be stuck with him beyond his natural expiration date. If they guess wrong by not paying him, his expiration date could arrive when he’s in someone else’s refrigerator.

33 responses to “Guaranteed money could be the sticking point on a Drew Brees deal

  1. His value has declined over the past few years if you look at interceptions. But still, the Saints can’t lose him and find someone half as valuable.

  2. Sorry to his fans but the man is just not worth the dollars. No way any other team comes close to giving him that kind of money.

  3. I hope the Raiders have a memo out there that if Drew Brees and his agent get within a 5 mile radius of Derek Carr they have orders to shoot to kill……

  4. You cannot afford to hamstring an entire team for a QB no matter who he is. Look around the NFL and how many teams struggle after giving mega deals to one player!

  5. How can you give him that much money at the latter part of his career especially when the team is going nowhere because of his current cap numbers? It may be time for the Saints to start rebuilding. Brees is still a good QB and can be for years to come but why mortgage the next four years on a boat anchor of a contract like that. If I were the Saints I’d cut every OL that has a huge contract and replace them with scrubs when they need to make cap room because of his contract. Then when Brees whines about it they can tell him to go look in the mirror.

  6. The choice between “he’s not worth the money” and “2-14” is really not a choice at all is t?
    I mean I get that he might not be in top shelf form from 6 years ago but come on, who else is out there that’s half as good as him for whatever the cost may be?

  7. 2016StockMarketCrash says:
    Jun 5, 2016 3:16 PM
    Drew, it’s over in NO, it’s no longer 2009.

    Says the fan of Miami, where it’s been over for more than 4o years.

  8. Saints have gone 7-9 in three of the last 4 season with Brees. He’s been a great player but the decline will start very soon and I sure wouldn’t want to give him another 4 years at that money.

  9. Brees is still punishing the Saints for not being respected or valued by the Chargers. If you subtract his first contract with SD, he is the highest paid QB in the history of the league. The Saints have more than taken care of him. Meanwhile he has the team over a barrel and is holding out for even more guaranteed money?!! Just sad that he would do that to the team that has done so much for him.

  10. How many big ticket QB contracts ever get to a 4th year never mind the 5th? Brees’ contract is no different, it never should have gotten to it’s last year. Anyone thinking Brees numbers are hamstringing NO needs to look again. $29M & $34M in dead money for ’15 and ’16. Like a lot of GM’s Loomis thought he was safely kicking the can down the road when he inked Brees to his last deal, it’s all the other mistakes that made that road turn into a washed out ravine. If they have to guarantee him $60M in a 4 year deal they are already half way there right now. Leaving $30M as what they might additionally be on the hook for over 3 years should he suddenly disintegrate. What’s $10M a year in potential dead money to team that is blowing more than 3 times that this year alone? Next year Romo, Flacco, Ryan, Bradford and Stafford are the top 5 QB cap. If we were picking objectively not one of us would take any of them over Brees this year or next.

    That’s from a Giants fan btw

  11. His last contract cost N.O. players. He’s all about the $$$$.
    He isn’t worth it.
    If he was broken off he would never get a wiff of this kind of $ and he knows it.
    Spend money on PLAYERS, not a player.
    7 & 9 for what?

  12. Bree’s will do whatever he can to gouge the saints for ever dime he can get out of them, and seal the teams fate for the future. He’s a me first guy and screw the rest is f the team. If I were the saints I’d cut my loses and me on.

  13. What is Brees gonna guarantee the Saints????
    The guy is overrated and in decline. Sign him to a tender next year and find a new QB

  14. He’s going to go on a Peyton manning type tour after this season. No reason to stick around a rebuilding saints team.

  15. Drew Brees has enough money to last him 10 lifetimes. He obviously is a greedy me first guy who would rather get another 100 million dollar deal instead of leaving some money on the table so the Saints can actually build a team around him

  16. I’m not a fan of how Brees has handcuffed the Saints organization but to mention Fitzpatrick in the same sentence as Brees is down right disrespectful to Drew.

  17. Bills, Jets, Niners, Browns, Broncos, Skins, Fins, & Jerrah would all gladly over-pay for his services…These defensively stacked teams are just a good QB away from being serious contenders.

    Brees is no Fitz…even a declining Brees is better than all these unproven/unhealthy QB’s. Brees over Romo is a no brainer…will cost about the same except one can paly more than 5games a season!

  18. tommyribs says:Jun 5, 2016 3:35 PM

    He is a greedy me first guy. It never gets talked about, but he is.
    I’ve heard the same i.e., “me first”. Wasn’t it Brees when he negotiated a contract, that it had to be $1 more than Manning? Appears to me that he more interested in his stats … he’s a good QB with inflated stats, like a lot of indoor QBs.

  19. Develop Grayson for another year and bid Brees adieu. Not worth mid $20’s Mil/yr., let some other team make that 4 yr/$90+Mil mistake.

  20. greediest player in the NFL!
    Vikings lost in that ’09 NFC Champ game, get over it already lol

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