this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; There is no doubt the signing of free-agent quarterback Drew Brees is the biggest signing in the history of the New Orleans Saints in the free-agency era. It isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t just about the money, even though that always has something to ...
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|03-19-2006, 08:07 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: new orleans
Brees signing changes a lot for Saints
There is no doubt the signing of free-agent quarterback Drew Brees is the biggest signing in the history of the New Orleans Saints in the free-agency era.
It isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t just about the money, even though that always has something to do with it, but it is sometimes about risk and reward.
In my opinion, Drew Brees is a top 10 quarterback in the NFL.
No he isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t as talented as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Hasselbeck, Brett Favre or Michael Vick. But he is a winner, a competitor and someone who will not lose games by making ill-advised throws at critical times.
In pro football, sometimes a team has to overpay for leadership.
The Carolina Panthers did that a few seasons back when they re-signed Jake Delhomme to the biggest contract in the history of the franchise, and that certainly has paid off handsomely for the team.
Brees and Delhomme make for an interesting comparison.
Ever since Delhomme took his Cajun accent and strong arm to Carolina, Saints fans have talked in loud decibels that he should have been the SaintsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ quarterback. Not because of pure talent, but because of heart and determination and, yes, that one word the Saints organization has run away from the past few years in regards to the quarterback position: leadership.
Many times former Saints coach Jim Haslett would say the media and fans had overblown the "leadership" concept on a team, and that leadership meant more about producing on the field than taking over a huddle or locker room.
While there is some truth to that, it was also HaslettÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s way of deflecting -- more like ignoring -- the fact that while Aaron Brooks had quite a bit of physical skills, he wanted no part of the leadership role. This built a wedge between Brooks and many key performers on this team due to his actions on and off the field.
Part of HaslettÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s demise in New Orleans was came because he never put a premium on the intangibles, but more on pure athletic talent.
ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s the reason Haslett and Brooks are no longer Saints. And I have a strong feeling a few more players lacking intangibles are also on their way out of the door.
Every year for my draft report, I speak to about a dozen NFL scouts and player personnel about the top players in the league.
One scout compared Brees to Delhomme.
"Drew Brees is the AFC version of Jake Delhomme," the veteran AFC scout said. "Matter of fact, he is a more accurate passer and a better decision-maker with the ball in his hands than Jake. The comparison to both is about heart, leadership, toughness, and the ability to stand tall in the pocket when everything is breaking down around him. I love the guy and I am a fan of Marty Schottenheimer, so I hope Marty gets to keep him, but I doubt it. The general manager wants Philip Rivers to run that team, and this is just a gut-feeling, but I think he wants Brees out the door. It is a major mistake to put Rivers in that spot and whoever signs up Brees is getting another Jake Delhomme, only a more accurate passer."
Strong words from a person who has no axe to grind and has seen quite a bit of action in his 20-plus years in the league.
The Saints made a mistake in not doing everything possible to keep Delhomme, but they have apparently learned their lesson and put a high premium on that combination of talent, smarts, intangibles and toughness.
Yes, there is a huge risk in putting this big (six years, $60 million) of a contract together. Anytime a surgeon buries a knife into a quarterbackÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s shoulder or arm, there is always great concern about how quickly the quarterback he can come back. But in my opinion, it was well worth the gamble.
Nothing is certain in medical terms, but if you look at dedication, attitude and work ethic being a major part of rehab, then Brees is well on his way.
DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS
The Brees deal also opens up many avenues for the Saints to take come draft day.
To be honest, New Orleans is on the clock until its notified by the Houston Texans.
The Texans seem determined to take USCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s Reggie Bush with the top overall selection. That means the Saints now hold many of the top draft cards in their hands and can play a little high-stakes poker.
For the past few months, most thought the top three picks would be Bush to Houston, USC quarterback Matt Leinart to the Saints and Texas quarterback Vince Young going third to the Tennessee Titans.
Now, all that has changed.
Teams like the New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and even the Oakland Raiders thought about the possibility of having North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams or Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk up on the board when they picked. Now that may not happen unless they trade up to do so.
Who is to say Al Davis and the Raiders wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t give up a bundle of picks, and possibly players, in order to move up and draft Leinart and recreate the 1970s when another left-hander, Ken Stabler, led them to the most wins in the league during that decade.
ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s still early to predict the top six or seven selections in Round 1, but now there is no doubt the Saints hold the trump card. If a team wants certainty that it can get Williams, Leinart or even Hawk, it knows it has to go through New Orleans to do so.
In 2004, the New York Giants gave up a first- (Philip Rivers) and third-round pick (kicker Nate Kaeding) and a first-round pick in 2005 (outside linebacker Shawne Merriman) to the Chargers to end up with the player who was selected just three picks ahead of where they picked in Round 1, quarterback Eli Manning.
ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s a big bundle, and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s what the Saints should be shooting for, or something in that same price range.
If you think draft day had a great buildup before, just hang on to your hats, because it will pale in comparison to what will happen within the next month
|03-19-2006, 09:14 PM||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2004
|03-20-2006, 09:57 AM||#4|
1000 Posts +
Join Date: Sep 2003
Originally Posted by EuphoriaI can't think of a bigger signing in free agency. Wayne Gandy? Tebucky Jones? Mayberry? Usually we pick guys up who wouldn't be starting anyway.