NFL Hot Stove: One Chip Down, Could Brees be Next?
Dear G#d, What is Going On with the Saints?
FTS recently reported on the New Orleans Saints’ trade of TE Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks. Could a more drastic player move be on the horizon? Sports radio is buzzing with speculating that future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees is on the trading block. The Saints have released a number of high-profile veterans to eliminate cap issues. Could getting rid of Brees give the Saints the payroll flexibility they need? Brees’ contract is a huge financial burden on the organization. He’s scheduled to become a free agent in 2017, but not before he counts $30 million against the New Orleans Saints salary cap.
SBNation wrote about the Saints’ payroll and said, “the five-year, $100 million contract signed by Brees in 2012 has a base salary that has increased in each year, beginning with $3 million in the first season. [From there, his annual salary climbs] all the way to $13.55 million this season and $19.75 million in 2016. If Brees isn’t willing to take a hometown discount…his time with the Saints could be through.”
It Just Business, Right
This news sucks and if we were Brees, we’d take it personally. Brees, almost single-handedly, has revitalized the Saints and the city of New Orleans. Since Brees’ arrival to the Superdome, the team won its first-ever conference championship and Super Bowl title. John Deshazier of NewOrleans.com wrote in 2016,
Before Brees was signed, between 1967 and 2005 [the Saints had] seven winning seasons, five double-digit winning years, and played in six playoff games. [With Brees under center, the Saints] have compiled five winning seasons, five double-digit winning years, and been in 10 playoff games.
The four-time All-Pro, nine-time Pro Bowler, two-time Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP has skyrocketed up the league’s all-time charts: 60,903 passing yards (fourth-most in league history, first among active players); 428 touchdown passes (third and first, respectively); 5,365 completions (third and first); and 66.4 percent completions (first and first).
Post-Katrina, Brees became one of the city’s champions. His foundation rebuilt and recreated schools, parks, playgrounds, athletic centers, after-school and mentoring programs. Brees’ pre-game ‘Who dat’ chant became a symbol for the recovery of the region and the Saints’ ascent to respectability. He deserves to retire as a New Orleans Saints.