After haggling over a mere million dollars or so per season, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees finally came to an agreement with the NFL club and put his autograph on a new five-year contract worth $100 million on July 13. The new deal will see Brees earn $40 million of it in the first year.
The 33-year-old Brees was designated as New Orleans franchise player back in February. It looked like the deal might not get done as the two sides were reportedly about $10 million apart on the total of the guaranteed money during the contract’s first three years. They finally settled on a total of $61 million guaranteed in the first three years, which is a new record from an NFL contract.
The total contract value of $100 million is also a new NFL record for a quarterback since it passes the five-year deal that 36-year-old Peyton Manning signed for $96 million back in March. Brees surpasses Manning as the league’s highest-paid quarterback.
When broken down in years, the average salary for Brees works out to be $20 million, which is basically a 100 per cent increase over his old deal and the richest in the league on average. The Saints originally signed him in 2006 as a free agent to a six-year contract worth a total of $60 million, for an average of $10 million a year.
Brees had an excellent season in 2011/12 as he set several records. He passed for 5,476 yards which broke Dan Marino’s record and he managed to complete 468 passes for a total of 71.2 per cent. He set the previous league mark in 2009 at 70.6 per cent. He passed for 46 touchdowns The Saints, who had a 13-3 record, also set a league record with 7,474 of total offense which eclipsed the previous record of 7,075 set by the St. Louis Rams in 2000.
The Saints’ vice president of communications Greg Bensel confirmed the contract with Brees, but didn’t confirm the financial details. Tom Benson, the owner of the Saints, released a statement which congratulated Brees, the city of New Orleans and the organization. It said the team now needs to focus on football and training camp and to become the first NFL team to host a Super Bowl and play in it.
If Brees and the Saints didn’t come to an agreement he would have earned $16.3 million for the upcoming season. He also had the option of holding out for a more lucrative one-year contract. However, he stated that he wasn’t interested in just a one-year deal.
This was the first opportunity Brees had to negotiate a long-term deal and he definitely took advantage of it. The ball was basically in his court since he has played injury-free over the past few seasons and has set numerous records along the way. He also led New Orleans to a Super Bowl win when they beat the Indianapolis Colts at Super Bowl XLIV.