Did Drew Brees do a team-friendly deal?

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Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis is praising quarterback Drew Brees for taking a team-friendly deal. Which raises this question: Was it really a team-friendly deal?

“We needed to know what Drew was going to count on our [salary] cap this year, what resources are we using because then that gives us the ability to do some other things,” Loomis told the Saints’ official website, via NFL.com. “To Drew’s credit, his number-one goal was to make sure we had an opportunity to improve our roster, keep our roster together and be as competitive as we can be. I’m certainly appreciative of how he’s handled that contract the last couple times because again the most important thing to him is we have a competitive team.”

Brees signed a two-year, $50 million deal, with a fully-guaranteed payment of $25 million in 2020 and a couple of phony-baloney years that reduce the 2020 cap hit. With Philip Rivers and Tom Brady also getting $25 million this year (Brady can earn another $4.5 million in incentives, but he failed to earn a single penny in Patriots incentives during either of the last two years), the Brees contract doesn’t feel team-friendly. Instead, it feels like the going rate for an aging quarterback who may be in the early stages of inevitably losing a footrace with Father Time.

Questions have lingered for two years about Brees’ ability to crank it up and throw it deep, to the point where that task has fallen more recently to Taysom Hill. Now 41, the edge of the cliff could be coming at any time for a player who inevitably will find that his body refuses to do what his brain is trying to tell it to do.

Brees rolled up his leverage and threw it in the trash can when he made it clear that he’d play for the Saints or no one in 2020. Although it’s possible that the Saints extended their best offer to Brees before he decided whether to keep playing, the simple reality is this: Brees wasn’t going to sign with the Buccaneers or the Panthers or anyone else on the team’s regular-season or potential postseason schedule. If the Saints would have been comfortable with Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill, they could have moved forward if they’d made Brees an offer that he would have refused.

Of course, a starting quarterback needs to have the kind of contract that ensures he’ll be properly respected in the locker room. Brees, however, has the pedigree, the accomplishments, and the personality to overcome the perceived slight that would have come from, for example, a contract paying $20 million or less in 2020.

Regardless, $25 million isn’t an actual or perceived slight. It doesn’t feel team friendly. It feels fair and appropriate for a franchise quarterback in his 40s or close to it.

18 responses to “Did Drew Brees do a team-friendly deal?

  1. “Instead, it feels like the going rate for an aging quarterback who may be in the early stages of inevitably losing a footrace with Father Time.”
    ————————

    NONSENSE. Stop manufacturing “controversy”.

    Brees has his HIGHEST passer rating (116.3) in his career in 2019 and second highest completion percentage (74.3% vs 74.4% in 2018). He’s still playing at the elite level, so regardless of age, the Saints are paying BELOW CURRENT MARKET VALUE for elite quarterback play.

    It’s weird you’re suggesting paying someone differently just because of their age and not because of what they bring to the field…

  2. “Of course, a starting quarterback needs to have the kind of contract that ensures he’ll be properly respected in the locker room.”

    That’s so bogus. Your respect is earned on the field. This whole “respect” thing makes me want to vomit every time I hear it in sports.

  3. Maybe Brees didn’t care about or need leverage. His contract was done before brady or rivers, more likely lowering their value,not the other way around.

  4. He has a team friendly contract if the team feels it, The fans feel it, and the owner feels it. The fact that T. Brady has similar contract and similar age does not change the fact that Brees could have leveraged more and hurt Cap Space. For that matter, so could have Brady with Tampa Bay. Both are team friendly, below market valued and aimed at making their teams better.

  5. He only played 11 games last year. He’s still got a little elite mileage in him but it’s a realistic deal looking at his age & wear and looking over his shoulder, rather than a team-friendly one.

  6. Drew Brees cap number for 2020: 23.6 mill

    Aaron Rodgers cap number for 2020: 21.6 mill

    I’d say A-Rod’s deal is more team friendly. Js.

  7. Brees was already counting against the cap like Brady is for the Pats as both pushed money out in the future. Brees signed the best deal the Saints could afford and still field a team around him.

    I think Rivers, Brees and Brady would all be better off starting 12 games instead of 16. Breaking his thumb last year might have been the best thing for Brees just like I though Brady’s suspension helped him. I would almost play these guys every other week the first 8 weeks. Their arms aren’t what they used to be. Can see it on all 3 of them late in the year

  8. I don’t buy the respect angle. Did paying Blake Bortles win him respect in the Jaguars locker room? Do the Chiefs not respect Mahomes because he’s making less than 10 million a year on his rookie deal? I think if a QB plays well guys will follow him and a guy like Brees is a leader regardless of salary.

  9. killerquails says:
    March 28, 2020 at 4:25 pm
    On a side note. Cam newton please go to. Dallas and stop this Prescott madness.
    __________________________________________________________________
    I’d rather lose than have Cam on my team, No here wants to see him dress up
    like Audrey Hepburn in “On Golden Pond” or what ever worse outfits he can dream up
    the dude is head case straight up.

  10. freefromwhatyouare says:
    March 28, 2020 at 2:22 pm
    Drew Brees cap number for 2020: 23.6 mill

    Aaron Rodgers cap number for 2020: 21.6 mill

    I’d say A-Rod’s deal is more team friendly. Js.

    Drew Brees is an elite QB… Aaron Rodgers is just a very good QB… so A-Rod should have a lower cap number

  11. Drew is captain check down. He throws dump off passes to Kamara and 5 yard curl routes to Mike Thomas. Even if Mike wasn’t just a possession receiver and could stretch the field, Drew wouldn’t be able to get him the ball.

  12. If Prescott is wanting more than $33 million after an 8-8 season and not having won anything, then I would say a first-ballot HOF QB that the majority of the league would love to have on their roster next year getting $25 million – and doing the deal quickly enough that the team can make other moves – is pretty team friendly, relatively speaking.

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