Drew Brees restructures contract to give Saints more cap space

Indianapolis Colts v New Orleans Saints
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Drew Brees has not yet announced his retirement, but in a hint that he’s preparing to do so, he has agreed with the Saints that he will dramatically reduce his 2021 salary.

Brees is currently under contract for a $25 million salary in 2021 but has agreed to the league minimum of $1.075 million, according to ESPN.

As explained by Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com, that brings Brees’ cap hit for 2021 down to $12.225 million, from the $36.15 million it would have been if he hadn’t taken the pay cut. That means Brees has just saved the Saints nearly $24 million on their salary cap once the new league year starts in March.

Then Brees and the Saints can wait until after June 1 to make his retirement official, at which point the Saints can split his dead cap number of $22.65 million between the 2021 and 2022 salary caps.

Even after this move, the Saints are projected to be well over the salary cap for 2021, so more moves are certainly coming. But some creative accounting and Brees’ cooperation has just made things a little easier on the Saints.

47 responses to “Drew Brees restructures contract to give Saints more cap space

  1. It sucks Brees is going out like this. Sure this past year drew looked like a shell of his former self but then you look and he still had a 100 QB rating for the year .

  2. So happy that they wore the black uniforms against my Bucs in the playoffs. Only fitting cause it was his funeral. Glad we could bury him proper. Fire the Cannons!!

  3. The Broncos were able to win a Superbowl with a broken down Peyton Manning and a dominating defense. The league’s changed since then and a skills drop-off like that now no longer gets it done. It’s better for Brees and I would also say Roethlisberger to retire now than come back and look like The last days of Donovan McNabb. No one needs to see that.

  4. Good guy and NOLA and he have always done right by one another. Greatest Saints player in their history and will be a great HOF addition in 2026. Tough as nails.

  5. i would have to already have lots of millions to give up 25 of them, just to take one for the team.
    .
    Always liked Brees. Enjoy your retirement.

  6. pbdisciple says:
    February 6, 2021 at 7:31 am
    Good guy and NOLA and he have always done right by one another. Greatest Saints player in their history and will be a great HOF addition in 2026. Tough as nails.
    ——————————————————————————————
    If you call doing right to the Saints by bleeding them for every penny and then some and helping create the salary cap hell they now face then I agree , Brees is your guy . Now that it’s only a paper transaction not an actual reduction in money Drew ” Me First ” Brees is finally willing for the first time in his Saints career to reduce his salary to help the team. Mighty big of him , lol .

  7. Great player, great career, but he sure did come up small in the playoffs the last 4 years.

  8. Who else would ever make such an unselfish and generous contribution for thier team and its fans? Cant say this is another stat to pad, as some oblivious folks accuse him of. This will also help pay the salary to some of those who chose to dog him early in the season because of his patriotism. Retire or not, Brees is one of if not the most caring and generous individuals this league and new orleans has ever had.

  9. The Saints have done a pretty good job of keeping a good team around Brees for a while now. He’s a great QB, but it just shows how difficult it is to get back to the SB.

    You can have everything lined up on paper but it’s a long season and getting through the playoffs into the SB is never easy for anyone and impossible to predict.

  10. Once again, a class act by Drew. We’re really going to miss him but I’m looking forward to seeing him in the NBC booth every Sunday night.

  11. Man, Mickey Loomis strikes again. Gotta admit, that’s a well run organization, hence they’re always in contention, which few other teams can say.

  12. This guy was too small to play football, yet he re-wrote the Big 10 records books, and then the NFL record books. Even after an amazing college career, he still slipped to the second round. Even after he was drafted by San Diego and played very well, they still shipped him to New Orleans. Job well done. As far as I’m concerned, this man can do whatever the hell he wants to do. I certainly wouldn’t pressure a man of his age to continue to absorb hits and take long term health risks. He’s already done it all. Enjoy life!

  13. scottishvike says:
    February 6, 2021 at 7:24 am
    The Broncos were able to win a Superbowl with a broken down Peyton Manning and a dominating defense. The league’s changed since then and a skills drop-off like that now no longer gets it done. It’s better for Brees and I would also say Roethlisberger to retire now than come back and look like The last days of Donovan McNabb. No one needs to see that.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Ben Rothlisberger- 33TDs/10INTs 3,800 yards in 15 regular season games. Yup, his skills are trending down. Bad playoff game. Do you tell him to retire because of this?

    I’m sure you think Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady should hang it up as well.

  14. Well run? He has been the majority of the cap for years. Never took a cut to help the team. One more run at it? Lol he is toast. Great QB but most of those stats are trash. One freebie of a ring for the city. Hasn’t won anything I years. All time list leader. But 4-5th best QB of his generation.

  15. Restructuring just means they’ll be carrying his salary more years from now. The Saints cap is a disaster. 4 division titles in a row and nothing to show for it but cap hell.

  16. And now he will haunt them for money beyond retirement. Team player. Now you can sign whom? Y’all millions over the cap with very few players that are quality.

  17. Brees is a class act, but not because of this. He’s RETIRING. The cut doesn’t affect him in the slightest. Mickey Loomis is the most underrated GM in the NFL.

  18. Well, he’s not going to play next year, so why is everyone acting like this is so altruistic? Have I missed something?

  19. It’s laughable to believe that the league has changed so much since 2016 that a bad quarterback with a great defence can’t win.
    Five years hasn’t resulted in a dramatic shift strong enough to change that. There simply hasn’t been a defence on the level of that Broncos team in the time since then. Exceptional defences like that don’t come along all that often, as leading the league in team defence isn’t a significant marker in itself.

  20. Is it possible that he might stay ?
    Players say they do anything to win a Super Bowl, but rarely take a pay cut.
    Could Brees be taking a pay cut and stay, sharing QB duties with Hill, for one last shot?

  21. Chiefs fan in LA says:
    February 6, 2021 at 7:55 am
    i would have to already have lots of millions to give up 25 of them, just to take one for the team.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    If he’s retiring, he’s not actually giving up anything, since he won’t be collecting a salary in 2021. It’s just an accounting trick.

  22. Looks like Brees and Loomis may have had this planned out years ago and an unofficial verbal agreement when he signed his last deal.

  23. This is an egregious move by a team that has a history of bending the rules, at the minimum the league should not allow this unless he’s on their roster next year. I REALLY HOPE the players on their current roster are pissed off by the notion of this happening, how many of them “had” to take less because of Drew Brees’ cap hit number for years to come. I’m not surprised that Drew isn’t smart enough to realize just how insulting this move is to the league based on what I’ve observed over the course of his overrated career.

  24. Here’s hoping for one last year. It might not be pretty but like Gretzky’s last years in the NHL, being smart with the rock can still be effective. We want the proper send-off; not the one brought by the pandemic!

  25. malcomreynolds says:
    February 6, 2021 at 9:56 am
    It’s laughable to believe that the league has changed so much since 2016 that a bad quarterback with a great defence can’t win.
    Five years hasn’t resulted in a dramatic shift strong enough to change that. There simply hasn’t been a defence on the level of that Broncos team in the time since then. Exceptional defences like that don’t come along all that often, as leading the league in team defence isn’t a significant marker in itself.

    _______________

    Broncos 2015 Defense: Points 296 Yards 4530

    Rams 2020 Defense: Points 296 Yards 4511

  26. Settle down, Brees is not doing a thing. He is not losing a penny. He is retiring so he agreed to take a minimum salary and the change becomes mute when he retires. The only player who consistently took less money year after year is Brady. Brees always took big money. Quit making it sound heroic for doing Nothing……

  27. Thanks for the memories, Drew! Great professional, character, family-man etc. I would love to see you play for another year, however, you know you aren’t winning anything moving forward! Now, Roethlisberger, you’re next!! Quit trying to stat pad and get off the pot..

  28. From a competitive balance standpoint this is completely wrong and should be considered cheating. The Saints played fast and loose with the salary cap for years and now they are gonna get let off the hook because a guy who isn’t even going to he in the roster will help them kick the can down the road one more time? They should not be allowed to do this and blatant manipulation of the cap like this should be rejected. The Saints made their bed and now should be time for them to sleep in it. I feel sorry for those currently on the roster as Brees’ excessive demands for always having a top salary has helped contribute to this. While in some cases many players had to take less to stay or now stay on the roster while Brees gets to ride off with boatloads of cash I would feel a bid slighted if I were one of his teammates affected by his salary and loonies’ cap management. They are going to be a bad team for the next couple years despite Brees helping them out.

  29. Brees is second only to the GOAT. Great career and all class. It’s a shame he got jobed out of taking that team to the bowl against The Gret One, would have been a classic tossup game. He doesn’t miss the open guy in the clutch like Goff.

  30. scottishvike says:
    February 6, 2021 at 10:56 am
    malcomreynolds says:
    February 6, 2021 at 9:56 am
    It’s laughable to believe that the league has changed so much since 2016 that a bad quarterback with a great defence can’t win.
    Five years hasn’t resulted in a dramatic shift strong enough to change that. There simply hasn’t been a defence on the level of that Broncos team in the time since then. Exceptional defences like that don’t come along all that often, as leading the league in team defence isn’t a significant marker in itself.

    _______________

    Broncos 2015 Defense: Points 296 Yards 4530

    Rams 2020 Defense: Points 296 Yards 4511

    4 2 Rate This
    —————————-

    You get remembered if you’re great in the playoffs and win the Super Bowl, not by being great in the regular season. As an example, the 2000 Ravens weren’t the best statistical defense in the league that year, the Titans were. And in the playoff game between the two the Titans D gave up nothing, but the Ravens D scored points. And then they want on to win the Super Bowl, so the Ravens are remembered as the all-time great defense, and very few people remember how good the 2000 Titans defense was.

    The 2015 Broncos D was great and they took it to the next level in the playoffs and Super Bowl. So they’ll be remembered. The 2020 Rams D was great and then they were the reason the team lost in the playoffs. So 5 years from now no one will be talking about the Rams D.

  31. Shaun B says:
    February 6, 2021 at 6:37 am
    So happy that they wore the black uniforms against my Bucs in the playoffs. Only fitting cause it was his funeral. Glad we could bury him proper. Fire the Cannons!!

    Bro that’s not cool. I’m a HUGE Bucs fan and can assure you that our fan base does not feel or act like this. Drew Brees is a class act and he is helping his team here, kudos to him. I will miss our matchups with him if he retires. Don’t give us bad juju before the big game Shaun B! Go Bucs and Go Brees!

  32. It doesn’t give Drew a late charge for the Walter Payton man of the year award. It divides the dead money over 2 years as opposed to one. It’s not like he took less money to field a better team. That’s the guy in the SB again.

  33. It doesn’t matter to Brees. If that dead money is signing bonus, Brees already has that cash. He didn’t have to do it, but it doesn’t hurt him in any way.

  34. ibillwt says:
    February 6, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    It’s a shame he got jobed out of taking that team to the bowl against The Gret One, would have been a classic tossup game. He doesn’t miss the open guy in the clutch

    ===============

    No, he throws interceptions in the clutch instead.

  35. mysterytonite says:
    February 6, 2021 at 12:13 pm
    From a competitive balance standpoint this is completely wrong and should be considered cheating. The Saints played fast and loose with the salary cap for years and now they are gonna get let off the hook because a guy who isn’t even going to he in the roster will help them kick the can down the road one more time? They should not be allowed to do this and blatant manipulation of the cap like this should be rejected. The Saints made their bed and now should be time for them to sleep in it. I feel sorry for those currently on the roster as Brees’ excessive demands for always having a top salary has helped contribute to this. While in some cases many players had to take less to stay or now stay on the roster while Brees gets to ride off with boatloads of cash I would feel a bid slighted if I were one of his teammates affected by his salary and loonies’ cap management. They are going to be a bad team for the next couple years despite Brees helping them out.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    You’re not wrong, but every team has access to this kind of move. Every player that “restructures” their contract is doing the same thing; changing the cash type to manipulate the cap. The Saints are going to be forced into a rebuild due to their cap management. With Brees moving on they will be around $75-79 million over the cap and will undoubtedly be release a number of veterans to compensate.

  36. Its not a classy move, when, if he had retired, the Saints would have had a right to not pay him, just like the Lions justifiably did so to Megatron.

  37. He should have retired immediately and moved his family out of the murder Capitol of the south last year when he was accused of being racist and ignorant by the fans. The never given another dime in charity to that dump of a city.

  38. Brees did more with less physical abilities than the vast majority of the so called experts choices of what makes a good QB. Best of luck to him.

  39. Shaun B says:
    February 6, 2021 at 6:37 am
    So happy that they wore the black uniforms against my Bucs in the playoffs. Only fitting cause it was his funeral. Glad we could bury him proper. Fire the Cannons!!

    I have no dog in this fight but the above is hilarious!

  40. Good! No more “I’m the most important player on this team attitude.” No need to take a 10 minute selfish celebration for breaking a record by hugging wife, kids, teammates, and making other team wait to play football. A classy move would be for him to break the record and barley acknowledge it and move on to next play. He’s full of himself. The good guy look has faded away.

  41. It’s too bad Brees has to retire like this, but it’s just better that he leaves now before he tarnishes his legacy anymore than he already has. He went from the all time passing leader, in the goat conversation if he can outlast Brady, and all around good person to that guy who took a knee for social justice garbage, back tracked on his beliefs and family, and to be the guy who will always be know for having that career criminal Jacob Blake’s name taped to his helmet. Don’t go away mad Drew, just tuck your tail and just go away, loser.

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