Brees Extension: Myths, Memories, and “Moolah”


There are some things that we all like to forget in life, like: a horrible first date, an embarrassing moment while you’re out in the public eye, or the time you worked up the courage to go ask the prettiest girl in school to the senior prom — and the whole time you had a booger hanging out of your nose, like Tarzan swinging on a vine.

Now it didn’t happen to me mind you, but to a “friend of mine” and the poor guy still gets a twitch in his eye when you mention it.

For fans of the New Orleans Saints, there is plenty that’d they’d like to forget, especially if you ask any of the “old timers” with tales of seasons that were more bizarre or heartbreaking than anything any of the “newer generation” of Saints fans have gone through the last few years.

Great — now I’m sounding like one of the “back in my day” crowd, but you get my point.

Dec 27, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) reacts after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Jaguars 38-27. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

One ongoing and frustrating issue for the Saints is the mythical extension for quarterback Drew Brees that is going down the same path or ‘memory lane’ of his previous contract negotiations.

Going back to the 2012 offseason, Brees had made mention that as he prepared to negotiate his second free agent contract of his career; that he would work it so key pieces of the team would remain intact to continue the hot streak they were working with during the 2011 season.

But just as quickly, a deal was unable to be reached by the time free agency arrived — and Brees was slapped with the franchise tag while it drug on for months and months.

Brees didn’t participate in offseason programs and a nervous fanbase watched as backup Chase Daniel took the reins to lead the team, which then caused Who Dats becoming divided into two camps concerning their starting signal caller.

There were a number of fans that felt Brees was being selfish; knowing that the team was strapped for cash and lost members of the team like guard Carl Nicks — who was considered one of the best in the NFL.

The other side was shouting the Deion Sanders mantra of “pay the man” considering Brees had played through a 6-year contract for $60 million and won a Super Bowl for New Orleans; an amount which was basically ‘peanuts’.

Eventually the two sides agreed on a 5-year, $100 million dollar contract that put Brees back on the field and all was right with the world, until the following year when one of the most jeered at and so called vainest quarterbacks in NFL changed the game.

Dec 14, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick (R) after clinching the AFC East title with a 41-13 win over the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady signed a 3-year restructured extension with the team to help create some salary cap space, a similar move he had made in March 2012 when he restructured his salary from $5.75 million to $950,000, hence the backlash to Brees on that front.

More from Drew Brees

Brees was asked if he would do a similar restructure to help his team; and the two second pause during that press conference followed by the “deer in head lights” look told me and anyone else what the answer already was (as in “no way, Jose”), no matter what politically correct answer he said after that.

He would however throw the team a bone so to speak; when in September 2015, Brees converted $5.2 million of his salary to a bonus that gave the team a meager $2.6 million in cap space.

I mentioned the phrase ‘mythical’ earlier when discussing the extension for Brees because of the optimism given by head coach Sean Payton close to a month ago, when he said he “envisioned it getting done quickly”.

This was followed by Brees agent Tom Condon a.k.a. “Evil Jerry Maguire”; who said on the eve of free agency that he saw the two sides talking in a “few weeks”, with the last word being from general manager Mickey Loomis that Brees was simply “under contract” and refused to comment any further.

Tom Condon, founder of Creative Arts Agency; photo courtesy of Creative Arts Agency

What makes it even more infuriating for fans is that Brady did yet another extension (2-years, $41 million) that freed up more cap space for the Patriots and quarterback Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens doing the same for his team.

What makes it infuriating you might ask?

Well it begs the question of why is it so simple and matter of fact for other teams to do these deals with their quarterbacks, while working the same out with Brees is more difficult than landing on the moon?

Does Brees deserve to be paid?  The answer is simple:  of course he does.

How much is likely the sticking point for the two sides; as someone like Flacco — who has the same amount of championship rings as Brees does — just got $44 million guaranteed in his recent extension that was 3-years, $66.4 million, which is probably along the lines of what the Saints are looking at.

Next: Saints Pull a 'Crazy Ivan' For 2016 Free Agency

The once rumored extension that was said to possibly have given the Saints an extra $10 million to use in free agency as well as sign their rookie draft picks, may be “too little, too late” as the bottom barrel of free agent players may simply do nothing more for the team than give some depth rather than immediate impact players.

The one light at the end of the tunnel is next year, the “dead money” that has been hanging on to the Saints salary cap like a silverback gorilla will ease up some.

But if the Saints and Brees decide to ride the lightning out for 2016, then it’ll rewind us back to 2012; where it’s pretty much deja vu all over again with the nostalgic essence of franchise tags and postured poker face negotiations.

Myths, memories, and “moolah”.

Ahhhh, good times…..