They say that deadlines spur action and that’s exactly what happened between the Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday.
With just one days to go until Brees was set to end negotiations with the Saints, the two sides came to an agreement on a one-year extension that will pay Brees a total of $44.25 million in guaranteed money, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has reported.
According to NFL Network, the actual extension is for a total of five years, but that will void down to two. The three extra years on the deal will give the Saints some salary cap flexibility going forward. NFL Network also added that Brees got a no-trade clause in the deal.
Brees had been hoping to land a four-year, $100 million extension. Although he didn’t get that, the Saints quarterback is more than happy with his new deal, which includes $24.25 million in new money.
“Both sides are very happy and certainly I’m very happy. I want to play my entire career here,” Brees said after the deal was announced.
Before the deal was finalized on Wednesday, Brees was set to play the 2016 season under the terms of a five-year, $100 million contract that he signed in July 2012. If no deal had been reached, Brees would’ve become a free agent after this year, which is why both sides wanted to get a deal done before the 2016 season started.
Although both sides were in a rush to get a deal, done Brees made it clear that he was no longer going to negotiate with the Saints if something didn’t get done before the Saints’ opening game against the Raiders on Sunday.
Negotiations between Brees and the Saints weren’t easy. The quarterback had some leverage because he knew that the team couldn’t afford to franchise him in 2017 because the cost would be too high. Brees has already been hit with the franchise tag twice in his career, which means the Saints would’ve had to pay him 43 percent of his 2016 salary if they wanted to tag him again.
That would’ve put the Saints on the hook for $43.2 million in 2017, which is a cost prohibitive number, even if we’re talking about a star quarterback. As for Brees, he wanted a four-year deal that the Saints were reluctant to give him because he’s 37 years-old, which means Brees would’ve been 41 going into the final year of the deal he wanted.
In the end, it appears that both sides got that they want. The Saints are locked into Brees for four years, and Brees will be making $24.25 million in 2017
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Drew Brees agrees to huge one-year extension with Saints