NFL

NFL AM: Brees Looking For Another $100 Million Contract

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Brees Wants To Get Paid

With the start of the NFL season being just a few days away for the New Orleans Saints, the best player in franchise history is looking for a new deal.

Quarterback Drew Brees reportedly is looking for a four-year deal worth $100 million.

At 37 years old, it’s more than likely that Brees’ best years are already behind him and signing him to another big money deal could further hamstring New Orleans salary cap situation.

With that said, this is Brees’ last season under contract and where would the Saints be without him?  Let’s look at the arguments for and against paying the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

The argument for giving Brees a new deal:

  • He’s the best player in the history of the franchise and he’s more than just a football player.  Brees is a pillar of the community and he brought home the only Super Bowl in team history. With all apologies to Louie Armstrong, Harry Connick Jr., Emeril Lagasse and William Faulker, he’s arguably the most popular individual ever to reside in New Orleans.  You don’t normally pay players for what they’ve done, but this is an extremely special circumstance.
  • Brees is still playing at an extremely high level.  It doesn’t matter what weapons the Saints have or take away, the quarterback’s numbers have been a constant throughout his New Orleans career.
  • With Brees under center there’s not a football game that the Saints can’t win.  He gives confidence to the team and the city as a whole.
  • How much longer is the Saints championship window open?  Without Brees, it’s completely shut.

Here’s the argument against a new deal for No. 9:

  • Father time is undefeated.  Brees is racing against the clock and he’ll be 38 before the 2017 season begins.  Will he be effective for four more years?
  • How good is your team with him?  We know that they’ll be worse without him, but they haven’t been a contender in a few years.  How is that supposed to change as Brees gets older?
  • It’s time to look in the mirror.  The Saints haven’t been able to “fix” their defense because they don’t have the money to do so.  Locking up Brees makes it that much worse and by the time this team rebuilds, he’ll be done playing anyway.
  • You pay players for what they’re going to do, not what they’ve done.  It’s nice to reward a key member of the franchise, but at the cost of winning?  It’s virtually impossible for Brees to live up to being a $25 million per year quarterback when he’s about to enter his 40’s.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has one of the toughest decisions of his career looming and if they can’t get a deal done with Brees now and he enters the offseason as a free agent, the team will likely have to franchise him which will cost more money and spread some bad will around.  If they pay him too soon and he does show signs of age then you set your franchise back with a bad deal.

Either way, the Saints have quite the conundrum.

Wentz Named Starting QB

Just a week ago, Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz was third string on the depth chart and headed for a “redshirt year.”

A non-contact injury over 1,100 miles away has helped thrust Wentz into the starting job for the Eagles.

As you know, when Teddy Bridgewater went down for the season in Minnesota, the Vikings traded for former Eagles starter Sam Bradford.  Although most people figured that veteran Chase Daniel would move in as the starter, the Eagles decided to pull the band-aid off and start Wentz, even with some sore ribs.

“We obviously made this decision. And I spent the weekend with my offensive staff …” Pederson said. “Everybody feels like this kid is ready to go and we drafted him to take on the reins and it’s something now we are prepared to do.”

Is Wentz ready for this after playing in just one preseason game?

“We’ve got to be smart in how we handle it but at the same time fully expect him to perform how he’s capable of performing in what we’ve seen throughout OTAs and training camp …” Pederson said of Wentz. “What he did in all OTAs, what he’s done around this building, the plays he’s made in practice, in the one preseason game has given me confidence that he can lead this football team.”

Is this the right move for the Eagles?

Ultimately, it will prove itself to be.  This year won’t be pretty and the fact that the team had to deal their 2017 first-round pick to Cleveland, Sunday’s opponent, to get Wentz isn’t reassuring to Philly fans.  But this is a long term situation and Wentz will learn more from being on the field taking his bumps and bruises than he would by sitting on the sideline with a clipboard.

“It’s something that we believe in, I believe in, this is why we drafted him,” Pederson said of reversing course on Wentz. “Would the ideal situation be later than sooner? Sure. But right now, where we are, we got a good football team around him, great defense, special teams. So all the pieces are here for him to be successful and for us to win some games.”

Where was Wentz when the decision was made?

“I was actually right in the middle of a cornfield hunting when that happened,” Wentz said. “So I got the call. I was obviously very surprised but instantly I was just really excited. A lot of excitement going on and I quickly cleaned up and got out of there. There was just so many emotions going on with my family and stuff, so now it’s just down to business. I’m very confident and I’m very excited to get this opportunity.”

Sure, going from the FCS to the NFL in one year is quite a leap, but Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco managed to do it.  It’s likely that both Wentz and the Eagles will struggle this season, but both will be better off for making that decision.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.