Everything is ok in the Big Easy again.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints reached a deal on par with the quarterback’s record-setting play, giving New Orleans’ fans some news they can celebrate after an offseason rife with turmoil heading to the 2012 NFL football season.
The New Orleans Saints announced Friday that they have agreed to a five-year contract with Drew Brees. A person familiar with the deal said it’s for $100 million, with $60 million guaranteed. The deal will also pay the quarterback $40 million the first year, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because financial details had not been publicly announced.
Drew Brees posted a note on his Twitter page reading, ”Deal is Done! Love you, Who Dat Nation. See you soon!” He had been tagged by the New Orleans Saints as the team’s exclusive franchise player and could not negotiate with other teams. Had a deal not been reached, the tender for a quarterback was worth $16.3 million. Brees would have had to play for that amount or hold out for a better one-year deal, which would have left his long-term future in New Orleans uncertain.
Brees skipped the Saints’ offseason practices while holding out for his new long-term contract, which now gives him the highest average annual pay ($20 million) in NFL history. Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams also has a $100 million contract, but for six years.
”With a contract like this, people can say they’re paying me what you earned or what you deserved. In my mind, I always feel like I’ve got to go out every day and earn it and show people why you’re at that level,” Brees said in an interview Friday night with the Saints’ radio network, WWL-AM. ”I can tell you from the start of this negotiation, I have not thought once about, ‘Hey, I want to be the highest-paid guy or what have you.’ It was more about trying to look truly, just objectively, at the numbers the last decade for a top-tier quarterback and where it has been and where it is going and just trying to do what is fair and justified.”
Now Brees is set to report for the opening of Saints training camp on July 24, a needed dose of good news for a club whose offseason has been plagued by the bounty scandal that resulted in the season-long suspensions of coach Sean Payton and linebacker Jonathan Vilma, among other sanctions.
”What Drew has accomplished in his time with the Saints, he deserves to be the highest paid player in the league,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said. ”We are excited to have this deal done and behind us and look forward to the next five years with Drew as our quarterback.”
Can the New Orleans Saints win Super Bowl XLVII with Drew Brees? Bodog sportsbook has the odds.Comments