In the aftermath of the Saints re-signing quarterback Drew Brees to a two-year, $50 million deal, ESPN reported that at least one other team (unnamed, of course) had offered Brees $60 million fully-guaranteed on a two-year deal.
A source with knowledge of the Brees negotiations tells PFT that Brees did not get an offer containing $60 million guaranteed.
So what happened? The theory is that maybe there was a little casual and/or accidental exaggerating and/or puffing of the alternative offer by agent Tom Condon, who is believed to be determined to get the first person to get a client at or beyond the $30 million per year threshold. The notion that Brees could have gotten to $60 million guaranteed over two years (i.e., $30 million per year) but chose not to creates the impression that Condon managed to become the first person to get to $30 million per year.
Could Brees have gotten to $30 million per year? Perhaps. But he didn’t want to leave, and the teams that were interested in him (like the Vikings) knew it. So why make a market offer to a guy who would simply use it as leverage to squeeze a few more bucks out of the Saints, who also knew he wasn’t leaving and ultimately may not have been squeezed?
Ultimately, it’s the player’s call as to whether to push for every last dollar with every last ounce of leverage. Brees didn’t want to put the “free” in free agency, making it impossible for him to get maximum compensation. Given what he’s earned in his career and what he means to New Orleans and what New Orleans means to him, he simply wants going to walk away — unless the Saints offer would have been dramatically lower than $25 million per year over two years.