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Drew Brees : What Are The New Orleans Saints Waiting On?

As a fan, I’m still hoping the Saints can have a decent season in spite of losing our  head coach Sean Payton and Johnathon Vilma for the entire year.  However, I can’t see us having any hope without Drew Brees.  Can you?

Drew Brees-getty images

Mind you, that’s my opinion.  There is absolutely no denying that Brees is a massive asset to the Saints.  Which is why I don’t get why they haven’t signed him yet.  What are they waiting on?  Pay the man.  He’s earned it.  Payton Manning didn’t play for an entire year and made more than Drew, whom in contrast had a stellar year.  Again, this is just my opinion.

Anyway, here’s the latest on the negotiations, Brees and the Saints still need to close a significant gap in guaranteed money if they’re gonna ever agree on a five-year contract worth about $100 million by Monday’s up coming deadline for a long-term deal.  It looks like their about $10 million apart in the guaranteed portion of the contract.  However, it should be noted that this infor is comin from an inside source who asked The Associated Press for anonymity do to the ongoing talks and not from Brees or the Saints specifically.

Drew Brees-getty images

As we all know the stakes are extremely high for both sides.  The negotiations have lasted for months now, including long gaps in communication between both camps.  Ironically enough, this is the very first time that Brees has had the chance to negotiate a contract on par with other elite quarterbacks in the league.  Kinda crazy right?  FYI, Brees is 33 years-old and this year will be entering his 12th season in the NFL.

Again, football season is just around the corner and the Saints don’t have a quarterback.  Not just any quarterback, but THE quarterback.  Speaking of which, The Saints are basically alienating the best quarterback in franchise history.  This can as is hurting their fan base if they don’t make an offer to Brees’ satisfaction by Monday, which so you’ll know is also the deadline for players with a franchise tag to sign long-term deals.

Drew Brees-getty images

Brees has said he does not want to play under a one-year contract with no long-term security in the coming seasons.   Can you blame him?  He said that he did it once before, and the consequences were big.  Brees was referring to the time when he played for  San Diego in 05′ and wound up with a career-threatening injury to his throwing shoulder.

This was the very injury that led him to accept the six-year, $60 million deal with New Orleans in 2006, which is why he’s been playing for well below market value during the past few seasons.  Sadly that’s in spite of the fact that he was setting club and league records.

Brees had hoped that an extension would be done before 2011, but that never happened, so he decided against holding out and played without the security of a long-term contract.  Even though he held out, he didn’t sell out and played the best he could.  Thankfully, that gamble payed off and he remained healthy the entire season.  So healthy that he passed for an NFL single-season record 5,476 yards. Brees considered that an act of faith in the Saints.  As far as I’m concerned it was, so they should just pay the man.  Now he is expecting that faith be returned in the form of a contract that not only would give him the highest average annual salary in the game, but also guarantee a a big portion of his salary.  On top of all of that, the players can be cut before their contracts expire, and even though signing and subsequent year option bonuses are guaranteed, base salaries are not.

Finally, Saints General manager Mickey Loomis has said he understands that Brees’ contract is the most important deal on the table right now.   So far, both sides have offered proposals that would give the Saints more flexibility under the NFL’s salary cap in the next three years than New Orleans would have if Brees played for the franchise tag.

By the way, the current salary cap is about $120 million, but could rise under a new NFL TV deal that will begin in 2014.  Under the league’s current labor agreement, players are supposed to receive about 55 percent of TV revenues.

In those proposals, a relatively low base salary number in the early years would be offset by guaranteed signing and option bonuses that are pro-rated, for salary cap purposes, over the life of the contract.  On the flip side of that if the Saints were to use their franchise tag on Brees again in 2013, they would have to pay him about $23.5 million, which is a much higher salary cap figure than what either side’s five-year proposal calls for in that season.

What’s your thoughts?

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