Monday, 20 February 2012 10:10
Will Brees Bring New Orleans Saints Down To Its Needs?
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drew_breesfor now, it seems the New Orleans Saints' world evolves around Drew Brees. has good news for the players who receive the "exclusive" version of the franchise tag, which prevents the player from talking to other teams and/or entertaining an offer sheet that, if not matched, would yield two first-round draft choices as compensation. For the "exclusive" franchise players, the franchise tender continues to be determined by an average of the five highest player salaries at the same position as of the expiration of the restrictive free agency signing period in April.

"This means (via pft.col)  that, for a guy like Brees, the "exclusive" tender could be much higher than $16.4 million. It will eventually depend on, for example, whether Matt Flynn signs a front-loaded contract with a big cap number, in 2012, whether Peyton Manning stays in  Indy under contract under his current deal (unlike), and whether Manning signs with a new team for big money  by the middle of April.

"The final number won't be known until those deals are done; thus, the Saints and Brees will be operating in the dark until those numbers are set.  Which could make it difficult to have any meaningful negotiations until the end of April which could make it more likely that Brees won't be available to the Saints when the offseason  program launches, unless he signs the one-year franchise tender and reports for duty."

Yet, the Associated Press reported Brees to say, “"My No. 1 priority, and it always has been this, is keeping our team together and making sure we have the right guys in the right positions to make a run at this for a long time," Brees said by phone from his offseason home in San Diego. "We all kind of work together on this thing.

"Put it this way: I'm not worried one bit about my contract or our ability to keep guys at key positions."

So, we will just have to wait and see.

"AS "PEYTON TURNS" -- The good news is we're going to get some real news on Peyton Manning by March 8, the day the Colts owe him $28 million (they paid him $22 million last year). The bad news is if you don't like this kind off season speculation, you've still got more than six months to wait for the real season to start. New York Daily News media columnist Bob Raissman suggests that Manning could be the third man in the booth for Monday Night Football as a replacement for Ron Jarworski... rates the Saints No. 3 in its preseason power poll. Writes the website: "Drew Brees broke the single-season record for passing yardage in 2011 and his accurate arm had as much to do with it as his dynamic receiving corps. Brees and his receivers are of the sort that get better with age and they should be as successful as they were in 2011. The playoffs have been the Saints' Achilles heel of late, but look for the Saints to be just as good or better this season."...Parting thought: "Someone said I sound like an owl (pause), who?...'s Dennis Dodd LSU No. 1 in preseason. Writes Dodd: The Alabama loss should provide all the motivation the Tigers need to go back to back-to-back national championship games. Tiger Nation is still trying to figure out what happened in New Orleans when the offense looked like it was trying to run out the clock -- without scoring a point. LSU gets better at quarterback with Zach Mettenberger, a year older and with a loaded backfield and at least a defense at least as nasty as last year's. Alabama comes to Baton Rouge for Game of the Century III (?). Les Miles lost three players early to the draft: WR Reuben Randle, CB Morris Clairborne and DT Michal Brockers. Miles didn't blink. Wash, rinse, recruit, reload, repeat."...

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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