Written by: Melissa Harder
Drew Brees has ended his off-season holdout and inked a five year $100 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Brees signed the deal at team headquarters today after verbally agreeing to the new contract on Friday. The contract was signed just in the nick of time since the two sides had until Monday at 4 p.m. ET to agree on a long-term deal. The Saints were smart to sign Brees and keep him from holding out, especially with the bounty scandal still hanging over the franchise’s head.
Brees becomes the player with the highest average annual pay in NFL history at $20 million, paying him more than Calvin Johnson ($18.5 million) and Peyton Manning ($19.2 million). The contract pays him $40 million in 2012 and $60 million guaranteed. It was reportedly Peyton’s total that Brees was looking to have at least matched during the contract negotiations. Manning sat out the entire season with a neck injury while Brees broke Dan Marino’s single-season passing record.
In 2011, Brees set NFL single-season records with 468 completions, 5,476 yards passing and a 71.2 completion percentage. Brees' yards passing record crushed a mark of 5,084 set by Dan Marino back in 1984.
"It's been a little surreal just because of the process throughout the off-season, and just how challenging an off-season it's been for everyone, obviously everyone within the Saints organization, this city," Brees said at Saints headquarters Sunday. "It's just been a crazy off-season and I think we're all just ready to get back to work and excited that it's all starting here in a week. It's hard to believe."
The protracted contract negotiations must have been a little strange for Brees. A year ago, Brees took the lead in organizing and running a voluntary minicamp at Tulane during the NFL lockout. This off-season, he missed all of the voluntary practices and mandatory minicamp while his agent, Tom Condon, and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis worked on a new long-term contract.
Brees has been training on his own in California but says he has been talking to his teammates and assistant head coach Joe Vitt by phone throughout this process. Vitt will handle most of the coaching duties with head coach Sean Payton suspended for the season by Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the bounty scandal.
And with Brees’ average of $20 million a year, I might need to rethink Aaron Rodgers holding my NFL boyfriend status (just kidding Aaron! Or am I?). I guess that’s for me to decide another day.
This year’s National Football League draft gets underway on Thursday night (4/25) in New York’s iconic Radio City Music Hall. The ceremony will begin at 8ET and be televised on ESPN. One can only wonder what the wild and crazy Jets fans will have to cheer (or jeer) about now that the N.Y. …
The 78th edition of the National Football League draft will begin on Thursday night, April 25th at 8pm ET. The official description of this event is The NFL Player Selection Meeting. This gathering will take place at the famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City. …
By Melissa Harder
Next week will mark a big moment in the ongoing concussion class action lawsuit brought by over 4,000 former players against the National Football League (NFL). Lawyers for the former players will argue the matter belongs in federal court while the NFL will push for the claim to be heard in arbitration. …