With Monday’s deadline right around the corner, the New Orleans Saints are doing everything they can to work out a long-term deal with Drew Brees as quickly as possible to avoid using the franchise tag on their beloved quarterback–which would cost the team $14.4 million. As of now, numerous reports indicate that Brees and the Saints are roughly $5 million a year apart when it comes to working out a new contract and there may be one player to blame as to why this is happening–Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
Prior to last season, Manning signed a lucrative five-year deal with the Colts for $90 million–an average of $18 million per season. While it appears New Orleans is offering Brees a similar contract with the same average, it’s the fact that Manning’s deal from Indianapolis would pay him $69 million over the first three years of the deal that seems to be one of the main reasons as to why Brees and the Saints have yet to reach an agreement on a deal.
Brees has obviously emerged as one of the top quarterbacks not just in the league over the last couple of years, but NFL history and is coming off a record-breaking 2011 season in which he threw for 5,476 yards to go along with 46 touchdowns. Even if he’s 33, the Saints shouldn’t even hesitate when it comes to paying their beloved quarterback the type of money he’s asking for considering everything he’s done for the organization since coming on board since 2006.
Unfortunately for Brees, the Saints are most likely cautious to give him that much money over the next three years because of the way things are panning out for Manning and the Colts at the moment. Despite everything Manning has done for the city of Indianapolis over the last 14 years, the organization finds themselves in a difficult situation when it comes to deciding on whether or not to bring the future Hall of Famer back in 2012. Not only has Manning’s neck injury put his career in jeopardy, but he’s due a $28 million roster bonus if still on the team once March 8 rolls around–which is a a ton of money to pay such a risky player with a serious injury like Peyton has.
Obviously, both quarterbacks are in two completely different situations, but it’s clear the Saints are looking at the Colts’ situation with Manning and being extra cautious about giving Brees that extra $5 million per season. There may be nothing wrong with him now, but as Manning’s situation has proven, there’s no telling what could happen to a player during their NFL career.
Brees may be fine now, but the last thing New Orleans wants is to have their quarterback suffer a serious injury that puts them in a difficult situation like the one Indianapolis is currently going through with Manning. Then again, with the recent news about the team’s former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams running a bounty program, Brees may have the advantage over this contract situation considering the team needs all of the help they can get when it comes to cleaning up their image–which means the organization may give in and give Brees what he wants to help make sure that happens.
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