For any New Orleans sports fan, there is no higher power than the Saints starting quarterback Drew Brees. He is the face of New Orleans sports and the mold that helped bring the city back to life after Hurricane Katrina. For that, most New Orleans natives are forever grateful.
However, for the last few off-seasons, Brees has made headlines for his current contract situation. Most recently, it was reported that the Saints and Brees have not been in talks on a possible extension. In 2012, Brees signed a five-year $100 million contract. He is entering the final year of that deal which holds a $30 million salary cap hit.
One of the most recent questions I hear about Brees is whether or not he is greedy.
Before I get into further detail about why the Saints current state is not a Drew Brees problem, let’s take a minute to talk about you if you feel Brees is being greedy.
Just a few short weeks ago, he was willing to take a pay cut for the Saints to upgrade their secondary by adding cornerback Josh Norman, however the former Carolina Panther chose Washington over New Orleans. He has been more than willing to restructure in the past as he did in 2015.
For every person out there who complains that he is making so much already and won’t just come down on a measly $5 million or so, that is a lot of damn money to leave on the table. I don’t care that he would still make $25 million. It is still $5 million.
Any bonehead who makes this argument, I wonder…
When is the last time you took a pay cut from your current job to make your company better? When is the last time you were willing to give up your hard earned money for someone else? When is the last time you were willing to donate even just $10 per year to a charity?
Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
The answer is probably never, as you read this on your smartphone enjoying a nice bowl of soup at Panera Bread. You want what is yours and Brees wants what is his. We are all “selfish.”
So save your moral high road for someone who doesn’t see through your bullshit. Now go sit in the corner and get back to your soup. Adults are talking.
Like a fine wine…
Drew Brees’ current contract ranks 11th among quarterbacks in the NFL. Most would consider him a top 5-6 quarterback, despite being 37 years old. Here is the list of QBs who currently earn more per year than Brees…
- Andrew Luck
- Joe Flacco
- Aaron Rodgers
- Russell Wilson
- Ben Roethlisberger
- Eli Manning
- Phillip Rivers
- Cam Newton
- Matt Ryan
- Tom Brady
To say Brees has lost a step is fair. His ability to throw the ball down field isn’t what it was four years ago, but he still finds ways to make plays with his arm.
To say Brees has lost so much that he doesn’t deserve near top dollar, you are sorely mistaken.
He has led the league in passing yards four of the last five seasons. Even in a pass happy league as six QBs surpassed 600 attempts in 2015, Brees still led the way playing in only 15 games.
Of those 10 names listed, I would put three of them (Luck, Rodgers, Brady) definitively over Brees. I could also make a strong case for Wilson and maybe Newton.
If you want a good quarterback, you better be ready to pony up the money. For a guy like Brees, he needs to be making more than most of that list.
This is just the reality of the going rate for a starting NFL quarterback. Every team has a high price QB now. Overpaying QBs is a problem most teams are currently facing. The Saints are not at any disadvantage than the rest of the league.
Saints issues not a Drew Brees problem
The current cap situation isn’t resting on the shoulders of the one guy who actually shows up and does his job most days. I fully blame the irresponsible spending in free agency by general manager Mickey Loomis.
As they continue piling on free agents like Jarius Byrd, Coby Fleener and CJ Spiller, the money adds up quickly. Free agency is not the way to build teams, at least for successful franchises.
You know why the Seahawks, Packers, Bengals, Ravens (last season, everyone was injured. Doesn’t count) and Patriots have been consistently good for the last five years? They find their players in the NFL draft. You know, that thing where you can select elite college stars for a relatively low price and not break the bank.
Team Records since 2012
- Patriots 48-16
- Seahawks 46-18
- Bengals 43-20-1
- Packers 41-22-1
- Ravens 33-31 (two 10+ win seasons, plus injury plague in 2015)
- Saints 32-32 (one 10+ win season)
Average Draft Picks per year since 2012
- Patriots 8.4
- Seahawks 9.6
- Bengals 8.8
- Packers 8.6
- Ravens 9.4
- Saints 6
The Saints have made a habit of trading up in the draft and haven’t traded down since 2007. That will cost you picks.
In the last five years, 2015 was the only year the Saints had at least seven draft selections. I will give them the benefit of the doubt for 2012 because they had draft picks taken away because of bounty gate. Even taking out 2012, the fact remains that they still average under seven selections.
The Patriots just traded their best defensive player in Chandler Jones for more draft picks. It is a numbers game. The more picks you have, the better your chances to hit because the draft is ultimately a crap shoot. No one knows how someone’s career will unfold.
I am impressed with the Saints draft in 2015 and 2016 looks promising. I really do love what they did considering they only had five picks this year. However, I am not counting my chickens just yet because as I stated earlier, it is a crap shoot.
I am over the management of the Saints not being held accountable because Benson’s senile ass is too busy finger painting his poop all over the walls. Meanwhile the people running his show were dealing with litigation for months and months.
Brees has been the scapegoat in the Saints current struggles which is preposterous. It starts with the people in the front office who have been doing an awful job the last few years.
What Happens Next
Until I see a drop off in the stats, Brees is still the guy. I have no doubts that a deal will get worked out after the 2016 season is completed. I am fully expecting the Saints to sign Brees to a 3 year and roughly $68 million deal, assuming he continues putting up the numbers. That would put him right on par with some of the top QBs. The other benefit is you are not tied to a 38 year old QB long term.
Life after Brees
With all that being said, where do the Saints go from here?
They are going to have some tight financial pull in the coming future with several contracts such as Jarius Byrd and Cam Jordan (which, I am not knocking. Happy they paid him).
What do they do? Do they hope to sign a free agent QB or start molding someone to take over once Brees calls the quits?
Quite frankly, I am tired of all the hoopla surrounding Garrett Grayson from the local media. You tried to make fetch happen with Ryan Griffin and Chase Daniel. Now it is Grayson’s turn. Let it fucking go. Grayson is not the answer and he never will be. The local media in New Orleans is a bunch of fan boys.
For all of you who make the Tom Brady argument. Brady is a rare find. You can’t bank on late round steals, especially at the QB position. Of the 32 starting QBs in the NFL, 20 have been selected in the first round. That number could be more depending on a few position battles in training camp.
NFL Starting QBs
- Arizona Cardinals – Carson Palmer – Round 1
- Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan – Round 1
- Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco – Round 1
- Buffalo Bills – Tyrod Taylor – Round 6
- Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton – Round 1
- Chicago Bears – Jay Cutler – Round 1
- Cincinnati Bengals – Andy Dalton – Round 2
- Cleveland Browns – Robert Griffin III/Josh McCown/Cody Kessler – Round 1/Round 3/Round 3
- Dallas Cowboys – Tony Romo – Undrafted
- Denver Broncos – Mark Sanchez/Paxton Lynch – Round 1
- Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford – Round 1
- Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers – Round 1
- Houston Texans – Brock Osweiler – Round 2
- Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – Round 1
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles – Round 1
- Kansas City Chiefs – Alex Smith – Round 1
- Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff – Round 1
- Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill – Round 1
- Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater – Round 1
- New England Patriots – Tom Brady – Round 6
- New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees – Round 2
- New York Giants – Eli Manning – Round 1
- New York Jets – Ryan Fitzpatrick – Round 7
- Oakland Raiders – Derek Carr – Round 2
- Philadelphia Eagles – Sam Bradford/Carson Wentz – Round 1
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger – Round 1
- San Diego Chargers – Phillip Rivers – Round 1
- San Francisco 49ers – Colin Kaepernick/Blaine Gabbert – Round 2/Round 1
- Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson – Round 3
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston – Round 1
- Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota – Round 1
- Washington Redskins – Kirk Cousins – Round 4
All that being said, the Saints need to pull the trigger in 2017 or 2018 on someone who will be the next starting QB for the black and gold with a first or second round selection. Considering only six teams have QBs who were taken later than the first two rounds, play the damn odds for once Mickey.
Lastly, to everyone blaming Drew Brees for the current financial strain in New Orleans…