New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has proved that he deserves to be the best-paid athlete in the NFL
Super agent Tom Condon was at the Saints' game in Jacksonville on Sunday. It'd be nice to report that he was there to finalize the details of Drew Brees' long-term contract extension with the New Orleans Saints, but that wasn't the case.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws during the game between the New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on Sunday.
Reports on Sunday indicated the sides remained far apart in negotiations, undoubtedly the most troubling news in an otherwise splendid weekend for the Saints (3-1).
Certainly, there's no reason to panic, not with Brees signed through the rest of the season and the franchise free-agent tag still available at the Saints' disposal next season. Negotiations always take time, especially one as big and complicated as this. But the clock is ticking, and the lack of progress is admittedly puzzling.
If ever a Saints player was worthy of Brinks truck treatment, it's Brees. He deserves to be the highest paid player in the NFL. He's younger and healthier than Peyton Manning, more valuable than Tom Brady and just plain better than Michael Vick.
He's the most talented player in New Orleans sports history, and one of the most transcendent figures in pro sports. And he's in his prime.
No NFL player ever has reversed the fortunes of a franchise more dramatically than Brees. His impact has been unprecedented.
The Saints' winning percentage before Brees arrived was .403. Their winning percentage After Drew (A.D.) is .619. Before Brees, the Saints had won one playoff game in 39 seasons. A.D., they've won four in five seasons, including their first Super Bowl.
Certainly, Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis along with the rest of the players and coaches contributed to the remarkable turnaround. But Brees was and is the catalyst. Everything starts and ends with him.
The best evidence of his value didn't come in his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLIV but rather in the one game he missed during his five-year tenure, a miserable 23-10 loss to Carolina in the 2009 season finale. In that game, the Saints played most of their starting offensive linemen and skill-position personnel. The only missing element was Brees.
Yet, the league's No. 1 offense staggered to a stunning halt. The 213-yard effort remains the worst of Payton's career. Only once have the Saints produced fewer than their 14 first downs and 10 points that day.
Mark Brunell's performance that day -- 15-of-29, 102 yards, 45.5 passer rating -- settled the argument that Brees is a "system quarterback."
Most important position
Never in the history of the NFL has quarterback play been more important than it is today. Teams are throwing the ball more often than ever. This past weekend 10 quarterbacks threw 40 or more passes. Three others threw it 38 or 39 times.
There's a direct correlation between winning and dominant quarterback play. The combined record of the teams with the nine top-rated quarterbacks this season is 29-7. All nine teams are either 3-1 or 4-0.
If you don't have a great quarterback, you don't have a chance. And the Saints have one of the game's all-time greats in Brees.
Seemingly a week doesn't go by that Brees doesn't eclipse some club or league mark. He extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 31 against the Jaguars. Only Johnny Unitas (47) and Brett Favre (36) have bettered the mark. He also extended his streak of consecutive games with at least 200 passing yards to 24. That's an NFL record.
Brees' achievements are so numerous they're mind-numbing. All you really have to know is this: No quarterback in NFL history has passed for more yards in a five-year span than Brees has during his tenure with the Saints. Since then, he's passed for more yards (24,328) and touchdowns (165) and completed a higher percentage of his throws (.672) than anyone in the league.
His greatness has attracted others. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams picked the Saints from a host of other suitors primarily because of Brees. Likewise, Shaun Rogers, Aubrayo Franklin, Darren Sproles and Olin Kreutz cited Brees as one of the main reasons they signed with the Saints.
Value to the franchise
His work off the field is equally valuable.
No player in NFL history has been asked to carry more on his shoulders off the field. Gradually, his role as ambassador for the club, city and entire Gulf Coast region has grown.
He invests time and resources in the community, whether through his Brees Dream Foundation or via various civic duties. He serves on the board of the National World War II Museum. He joined the Hornets' "I'm In" campaign. He works with Idea Village on entrepreneurial initiatives.
And those are just the tangible benefits. What's the value on the image overhaul he's imposed upon the club? What does it mean to Tom Benson's bottom line in the form of sponsorship dollars and season-ticket sales?
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I agree Brees deserves to get paid, but my concern is that his contract will be so high that we will not be able to afford players whose contracts are expiring, like Robert Meachem for instance.
Pay the man. Loomis and co. can make things work,#1 pick don't make a gazillion dollars now,pay the proven players. If Brees isn't prover no one is. 100 million contracts really are not 100 million.
I'm gonna do my part and go to Metry for lunch, get an Italian Mob Boss (#9) from Jimmy Johns...
I don't want to get bogged down in all these "Pay Drew Brees" threads, but...
...was talking to my Mom this past weekend. She is a casual fan. She buys me and my brother and all the grandkids Saints stuff every year for Christmas. Last Christmas I got a sweet carry-on size Saints duffle bag.
So anyway, she says, "have they signed Drew Brees yet?"
"No, Mom, not yet, but they will. It's just a matter of time", I said.
So Mom says, "well what the hell is taking so long? I mean, Brees IS the team. We never would have won the Super Bowl without him."
Right on Mom. Right on.
He will get his money - No one is worth the money he will get (OR that other players get) but he will get it.
Pay da man already
You better pay him now. For if he win's the Saints another Super Bowl. How much does the price go UP ! Pay Da Man !
4 playoffs games since drew has been here? We went to the NFCCG one year and won a Super Bowl the next. Isn't that like 6 including the Super Bowl?
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