Friday, 02 March 2012 16:08

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints Dispute Not Great, Nor Very Good

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brees-panthersThe Drew Brees-New Orleans Saints continues down to the wire. 

On Thursday, Saints GM Mickey Loomis reportedly doesn't consider Drew Brees a great quarterback and doesn't want to make him the highest-paid player in the NFL

.According to a report from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. Loomis thinks Brees is a very good quarterback, but not great like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. And therefore Loomis thinks Brees' new contract should be commensurate with what a very good quarterback, but not a great quarterback, gets paid.

Citing three league sources, Cole writes that Loomis made the distinction between Brees being "very good" and "great" in a recent discussion about the status of the soon-to-be free agent's contract. When Loomis was asked why it was taking so long for the Saints and Brees to reach an agreement on a long-term contract extension, Loomis described Brees as "very good" when others called him "great."

For most players, those are fighting words.  For most players who do not need to stay around and who likely get the kind of money he wants, those are leaving words.

According to the report, Brees and the Saints are about $5 million a year apart on a new contract. Which is apparently the difference between what a great quarterback makes and what a very good quarterback makes

Great quarterbacks make $20 million a year.

Brees' agent believes his client is a great quarterback and wants him to be paid like he is one.

The other argument is that no matter how “very good” or “great”  Brees might be, no player is worth 1/6 of the salary cap.

Plus, the Saints don't believe he will hold out for any significant period of time because he and the Saints will try to rebound from a special season that fell short of a Super Bowl because they failed to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs per Mario Florio in Pro Football talk.  In 2012, home-field advantage in the playoffs can be parlayed into home-field advantage in the Super Bowl.

And Brees knows it. And the Saints are banking on Brees ultimately choosing over himself.

Still, Brees deserves to be paid among the best quarterbacks in the game. Over the last six years, he has been the very best quarterback in the game, but being the best doesn't mean getting the best contract. 

With the franchise tag deadline looming Monday, New Orleans fans are certainly hoping that that the “fighting words” do not ultimately become “leaving words” and the Saints. 

These are the moments when a “very good” team becomes a “great” team and with the Super Bowl scheduled in the Big Easy next year, the city is wants Brees and company to be fighting down the victory field and not be left out of the game.

 The Saints will restructure the contract of defensive end Will Smith to add money under the salary cap for 2012. Smith is scheduled to make $7 million in base salary and #1.5 million in roster and workout bonuses  this season as part of a cap figure that adds up to $10.15 million. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that they expect to save five or six million by guaranteeing some of the money  owed Smith.'s Dave Richard Tweets "...I bet Meachem and Colston both go. Leaving Lance Moore to be the Saints' leader in rec and yards. Graham Debi all day."...Colston is one of the top free agents  among receivers, but he's no longer Drew Brees' No. 1 target. Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles were his favorite targets last season. He's got the tools of an elite receiver and at age 28 is not sweating a franchise tag. He wants $7 million a year and he may get it...

SOME hither, others yon: LSU fans will like a new DVD out on LSU football: "Ole War Skule -- the Story of Saturday Night." It's the comprehensive tale about the history of LSU football. The three-hour movie educates and is rich in detail with more than 80 intriguing and rare interviews. John Goodman narrates...In case you haven't noticed Drew Brees had his birthmark removed on Jan. 14...

LSU AD Joe Alleva and Florida AD Jeremy Foley say their series may end. They have met each year since 1971 and were designated as permanent cross-divisional  rivals in the SEC's 1992 expansion. The league is considering doing away with permanent cross-divisional rivalries in an effort to ease scheduling difficulties with Texas A&M and Missouri joining the SEC...

by Ed Staton and Bayoubuzz Staff

(Visit Louisiana Sports and check out the spring clearance sale on LSU, Saints jerseys).

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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. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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