It’s arguable that no player is more valuable to his team right now than Drew Brees is to the Saints. Before he signed with them, there was talk that the Saints could leave New Orleans and now any talk of that nature would be ridiculous as Drew Brees has turned the Saints into a perennial contender and a Super Bowl Champion. Given how willing teams have been to resign their quarterbacks over the past few years, it’s ridiculous that Brees still does not have a long term deal.
The Colts gave Peyton Manning 90 million over 5 years last offseason despite a neck surgery and the Broncos gave Manning 96 million over 5 years this offseason despite 4 neck surgeries. The Patriots, notorious for being stingy with resigning their own players, gave Tom Brady 72 million over 4 years last offseason a year before his contract ran up. Michael Vick got 96 million over 6 years last offseason after just one good year. Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger all got similar deals before their contracts expired.
However, Brees was not given a long term deal last offseason and still does not have one this offseason and is still franchise tagged. This is ridiculous. The Saints couldn’t have legitimately thought Brees’ value would go down from last offseason to this. If anything, it went up after he broke Dan Marino’s single season passing yards record.
He’s worth almost anything they give him and now, more than ever, they need to resign him because they need some good press and karma after BountyGate. Brees’ situation is obviously very damaging for team chemistry. Brees can’t practice with new players and the other players will see the front office as one that isn’t looking out for them. Brees today said that he is, understandably, “extremely frustrated.”
My money is still on a deal being worked out before the July 16th deadline for franchise players to be extended, because if he does play out the season under the franchise tag, the Saints would have a choice between paying him even more money under another franchise tag in 2013 and pissing him off more or potentially losing him to another team, but it doesn’t sound imminent and it needed to be done yesterday.