Are The Saints Out Of “Luck” With Brees Contract Talks?


It had to happen and you had to have felt it coming, in the back of your mind. Another quarterback got a deal that feels like it could only make the contract extension talks between Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, that much more difficult.

News broke yesterday that Indianapolis Colts signal caller Andrew Luck secured a five year contract extension worth a reported $122, 970,000 (that’s almost $123 million big ones) — with $87 million of it guaranteed.

Luck was in the fifth year option of his rookie contract and the Colts decided that it’s better to go ahead now and secure him for the future; instead of waiting until the end of the season to lock him in when it’d be more expensive and he’d be a free agent.

Hey — crazy concept, right?

Sep 20, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead (72) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I know, I know — the Saints did a smart move in locking up a player like offensive tackle Terron Armstead instead of waiting around, but Brees has been at the forefront of the contract extension talks since the end of this past season or actually even before then.

In the Saints’ defense (or maybe not since it’s due to their outlandish spending on failed player acquisitions), the Colts have ample salary cap space and currently has them with over $13 million ($13,643,466 to be exact) worth of cap space after the Luck deal.

Lack of money has presumably been the reason the Saints have been trying to wait out the contract talks with Brees; in which they currently only have $1.5 million of cap space left.

The waters will get a bit less treacherous for the team in 2017; when they will have offloaded some cap killers like former pass rusher Junior Galette — who is counting $12.1 million against the salary cap just by himself this year in “dead money””.

Some other contributors to lack of funds for the Saints due to “dead money” in 2016 include names such as former offensive guard Jahri Evans ($5.1 million) and former cornerback (and current Seattle Seahawk) Brandon Browner ($4.05 million).

Nov 8, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Brandon Browner (39) reacts after a penalty is call against him during the second half of a game against the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Titans defeated the Saints 34-28 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Coincidentally. Browner will also count against the salary cap next year as well but only for $1.3 million and is the only significant one left with that amount.

That’s unless of course that they release someone like safety Jarius Byrd next year; who would count $3.4 million against the cap as a post-June 1st release and the Saints would be on the hook with him until 2020 in dead money.

But while the lack of money is obvious, one true reason I believe a deal hasn’t gotten done is due to some huge posturing between general manager Mickey Loomis and Brees’ agent Tom Condon, or as Saints fans that I know love to call him: “The Jackal”.

Well, they actually call him other things too, but I’m trying to not this site or our Network into any sort of trouble, if you catch my drift.

“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” director Sergio Leone of the old 1960’s classic movie ‘Spaghetti Westerns’ fame, couldn’t have constructed a more tense or engaged “standoff” than what is occurring right now between Brees and the Saints.

With no news coming in recent weeks on the status of talks between the two, everyone is assuming that as it stands right now; the contract won’t happen until next year when it will go from a mere extension to a brand new contract, with Brees scheduled to hit free agency.

Jun 14, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first day of minicamp sessions at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Brees made the comment recently that basically if an extension is not reached between now and the start of the season, then talks would be tabled until the conclusion of it — when he’ll basically be on the market.

I think that a deal will be reached eventually, but if you thought Brees had a bit of leverage beforehand, then he definitely does now with the Luck deal happening.

More from Drew Brees

Loomis of course is playing the only card he has and that is “the waiting game” — which really is all there is for him to do and that doesn’t seem to be panning out too well, especially with the Luck deal going through.

Brees on the other hand has broken more records than a pop star and led his team to multiple playoff appearances and brought a Super Bowl to the city of New Orleans — oh, and let’s not forget his nine Pro Bowl appearances.

He and the Saints both know that if he were to hit the open market, then he’d be snatched up as soon as the first second of free agency ticked off the clock and some team would swoop right in and pay him handsomely.

Nov 1, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) calls an audible during the game against the San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The only angle the Saints could play is the age Brees is now at (37) as compared to someone like Luck (26) or even Joe Flacco (31) of the Baltimore Ravens — who himself just received a three year extension worth $66.4 million (and $44 million fully guaranteed) back in March.

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The popular consensus is that the next deal Brees inks would be his final one, which if he signs one for a “standard” four years at the end of this season; would have him at 42 years old.

Truth be told, I don’t know if the Saints would want to hang on to him for that long of a time, which would make a three year extension seem more ideal.

Of course with a shorter term deal, Brees will want to maximize the money that he’d get in return; which will make negotiations likely more complicated to get something done between now and the start of the season.

The Saints have tried to wait it out with Brees — but after yesterday, they just may have run into a bit of bad “Luck”….