Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, citing two league sources, reports that the Saints are willing to allow QB Drew Brees to play out the final year of his contract in part because of the amount of guaranteed money it would require for them to sign him to a contract extension.
Robinson’s sources have said that contract discussions between Brees’ representatives and the Saints are “at a standstill” right now. This is due in part to the fact that it would run the Saints around $20 million or so per year to get a new deal in place with Brees, considering that Eli Manning secured $21 million per year in his new deal while Philip Rivers came away with $20.8 million.
According to Robinson’s sources, a new contract for Brees could end up in the neighborhood of a four-year contract worth between $95 million to $100 million to go along with over $65 million guaranteed.
New Orleans is clearly comfortable carrying Brees’ $30 million cap figure for the 2016 season and seeing how Brees holds up this year before reconsidering an expensive contract.
Robinson adds that wildcard in negotiations between the two parties is going to be the amount of guaranteed money included in the deal. If Brees were to push for similar guarantees to the $65 million Rivers’ got from the Chargers, Robinson points out that it would likely be a three-year commitment from the team, which wouldn’t allow them to move on until he’s 40 years old.
There’s also the issue of the Saints finding and grooming an eventual replacement for Brees at some point.
New Orleans currently has Garrett Grayson on their roster, but it remains to be seen if he’s really someone their comfortable with as a potential successor to Brees. Robinson says that the Saints were willing to consider drafting a quarterback this year if the right player was available to them, even after using a third-round pick on Grayson last year.
Brees, 37, has one year remaining on his five-year, $100 million contract that included $40 million guaranteed. He stands to make a base salary of $19.75 million of in 2016, while $10.85 million of that salary was guaranteed as of last Wednesday.
In 2015, Brees has thrown for 4,870 yards while completing 68.3 percent of his passes to go along with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions over the course of 15 games. Pro Football Focushas him rated as the No. 6 quarterback out of 37 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding a contract extension for Brees as the news is available.