Our good friend here at WDW – Okielou once again has brought us his two cents on all things Saints. This time it’s the Drew Brees contract situation.
Drew Brees Contract History
A lot of Saints fans have been tossing around what the Saints brass and Drew Brees should do with his next contract – here is what I have found he has done in the past.
Drew Brees first contract with the San Diego Chargers was a four-year contract for $3.6 Million, which rounds out to $900,000 per year. He only played one game in 2001 but became the starter in 2002.
Between 2002 and 2005 he threw for 12127 yds, 79 TD’s. He missed five games in 2003 and one game in 2004. Otherwise his yardage and TD’s would have been higher. That equates to around 209 yds per game for the 58 games he played during that period. Not near the numbers we the Saints fans are accustomed to.
In 2005 the San Diego Chargers gave him a Franchise Tag contract of $8.078 Million.
The last play he made for the Chargers was the last game of 2005 against the Denver Broncos. He had fumbled the ball and was attempting to recover the fumble. While on the ground Denver defensive tackle Gerard Warren hit him resulting in a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Even though he was injured, the Chargers offered him a 5 year $50 Million contract that was filled with a ton of incentives. I really can’t blame the Chargers. They were taking a chance on damaged goods so to speak. Drew Brees evaluated the offer and declined it, opting for free agency. He wanted top five QB pay. Since the Chargers had Phillip Rivers, they did not pursue contract negotiations any further.
Only two teams really showed any interest in him, The Miami Dolphins (his first choice by the way) and the New Orleans Saints. After strong consideration, Nick Saban and the Miami Dolphins were scared off by the shoulder injury and walked away from any deal, which opened the door for the New Orleans Saints.
Drew Brees didn’t really have a lot of leverage to work with. The Saints signed Drew Brees to a 6 year $60 Million contract. Looking back, the Saints got a penthouse quarterback at a bargain basement price. Considering that the Tennessee Titans signed Vince Young number 3 overall in the draft to a 6 year $58 Million contract, and we all know how that worked out.
At this point I would like to do a little rewind – knowing the Drew Brees we know now.
What if the Dolphins had signed Drew Brees instead of Daunte Culpepper? Would it have been possible, to the ecstatic approval of LSU fans that Nick Saban could still be coaching the Miami Dolphins? With Drew Brees and the Dolphins defense they could have won their Division several times and maybe even a couple of Super Bowls. It could have made dramatic changes in the NFL record Books, plus the record books in the SEC as well as all of college football in general. The point is… could one Elite Quarterback being signed or non signed which ever the case may be, he could have changed the outcome for many teams in football, both college and pro. Tom Benson had a four leaf clover in his pocket the day the Saints signed Drew Brees. To sign a Player at a high profile position that has a shoulder injury on his throwing arm is a big gamble.
We talk about teams rebuilding or retooling or whatever. The Saints started rebuilding after 2005/Katrina (when they signed Sean Payton) and in 2006 when they signed Drew Brees and they continue to do so every year. Call it rebuilding, twerking, adjusting what ever you want – It boils down to the same thing. The question keeps coming up, who needs who the most? Does Drew Brees need Sean Payton or does Sean Payton need Drew Brees. What the Saints have in the two of them is what some people call a marriage made in heaven. I’m sure that Sean Payton would still be successful without Drew Brees, but Drew Brees sure does makes it a lot easier.
Now back to the subject of this article.
We all know that Drew Brees is a dynamic team player. His performance on the field has proven it. His history has shown that he is just like any other football player when it comes to money–it is all about number one. Even though the Chargers were willing to offer him a decent contract considering his injury, he chose to go for more money.
The six-year $60 million contract he signed with the Saints was $10 Million more than what the Chargers offered, but was still $10 million per year. As I stated before Drew Brees did not have that much leverage to work with so the $60 million was it.
Now comes 2012.
Drew Brees had all the chips to bargain with – he had proven his worth. The Saints were offering in the neighborhood of $19 million per year which would have made him the highest paid QB in NFL history. Brees and his agent Tom Condon had higher standards in mind. They were looking a a figure in $21 million range. After holding out (although Brees would not admit it, I think it set him back some the first part of that year) the two sides hit a compromise and settled for $20 million a year for five years. I won’t go into the guarantees, but that was pretty much the base of the contract he was after.
Now does that make Drew Brees a greedy person? I say, no. He was going after market value for a QB at that time and we all know, his being the highest paid QB didn’t last very long.
Does this make Drew Brees the cap problem. Partially! Drew Brees is not the fault for the bad signings and releasing of various players that management has basically mismanaged. You take Galette, Browner, Jean-Baptiste, Spiller, and some others out of the mismanagement moves and the salary cap would look a lot healthier. So for those who blame it totally on Drew Brees, you need to look into the whole picture a little closer.
Now it is contract time for Drew Brees again, some say it would be nice if he would sign a contract similar to what Tom Brady signed with the New England Patriots. Yes it would be nice, but it should not be expected of Drew Brees to do so.
Just a little note on the Tom Brady’s contract. Tom Brady did not take a pay cut as some like to advertise. He did sign what some would call a below market contract for QB’s. It has also been said that he was willing to do so because of his wife’s wealth. I say “Poppy Cock” to that notion. Tom Brady wanted another ring and he knew that the team was going to have to get the players for this to happen, so he was willing to do what ever it took. Tom Brady is set up very well financially with or without his wife. She had no bearing money wise in his decision. Using Tom Brady’s contract in saying what Drew Brees should do, is not fair to Drew Brees.
So what will they do? I’m sure the Saints have a figure in mind, as well as Drew Brees and Tom Condon have their own figure in mind.
When will it all happen? I’m sure it will be pretty much like last time–the two will come up with some numbers and they will meet somewhere in the middle. I’m guessing a three-year deal in the neighborhood of $60 million, which would be twice the amount he got in his first contract with the Saints in 2006. I’ve seen it was reported that the market for Drew Brees is between $21 and $22 Million a year. If I am close, which I’m probably not, it would be a hometown discount. Again it would be nice, but not expected. I don’t know how this will work the cap since I’m sure some of this year would be spread over the new three-year deal.
Well! That is my two cents worth.