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saintsfan1976 05-10-2012 06:10 AM

Jim Miller weighs in with a Drew Brees contract predicition
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Jim makes some great points and gives reason for optimism Saints fans! Personally, I think all this drama will unify the defense especially but make Brees even better.

When will Brees sign his new contract?

A week ago on this page, I predicted that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell soon would hand down the player punishment stemming from the Bountygate scandal and that Saints LB and defensive captain Jonathan Vilma would be suspended for the entire 2012 season. Two days later, it came to pass.

On Friday, I predicted that speed horse Bodemeister would lead wire-to-wire to win the Kentucky Derby. I was 50 yards short of getting that one right, but I was close enough to embolden me to make yet another prognostication of epic proportions: I know when Saints QB Drew Brees will sign his new contract.

Keep in mind that my old boss Jim Finks preached that anyone who thought they could make a living by betting on anything would wind up eating their shoes. But I am less Jimmy the Greek and more Jimmy the Chicken Bleep when it comes to wagering money, so let us just call this one a freebie. It won't cost either of us a farthing!

First, a little background: Brees, who led the Saints to their only Super Bowl championship and last season broke Dan Marino's single-season passing yards record, reportedly is seeking a contract that averages $23 million in each of the first three years. That is the same amount Peyton Manning's Colts contract averaged the first three seasons. It does not matter that Manning's contract was voided when he was released. What does matter is that Brees' agent Tom Condon negotiated Manning's deal. The Saints are said to be offering Brees a five-year deal that averages $18 million a year, which is the same overall average of the Manning Colts contract and the contract of New England's Tom Brady. Brady's contract also averages $18 million in the first three years, like the Saints' current offer to Brees.

In nearly every negotiation in which I participated, the player side starts high, the club starts low, and the two parties meet somewhere in the middle. The failure of the Saints and Condon to reach that middle raises suspicions that Condon is asking for something else we don't know about, a "poison pill" such as a voidable year or two that the Saints have rejected. Condon would like to achieve a new wrinkle that he could use as a precedent when he negotiates future deals for his all-star QB client list that includes Eli Manning, Sam Bradford, Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan.

If the impasse with the Saints continues, however, I believe Brees will step in and remind Condon who works for whom. He will authorize the agent to make enough concessions to get the deal done. When will that date occur? Keep in mind it will happen well in advance of July 16, the date when franchised players can no longer negotiate long-term extensions. Brees does not want to play under a one-year franchise tag and he will not hold out. That leaves the next most logical deadline at which time Brees will order Condon to get it done.

Therefore, you can circle May 22 in your Saintsations swimsuit calendars. That is when the Saints begin their on-field workouts as part of the off-season program as amended by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. You can bet, or merely feel reasonably confident, that Brees will be signed by that date. The Saints will hold organized team activities on May 22-24, May 29-31 and June 11-14, and their team minicamp on June 5-7. You can bet that Brees will be in the irons when those practices start.

Why do I believe May 22 is the magic date? Recall that much of the Saints' success in 2011 was because Brees gathered his teammates together at a time the owners had locked out the players. At that time, he donned the multiple hats of head coach, head offensive coordinator, head conditioning coach, head cheerleader and overall master schemer. Brees single-handedly took his teammates' minds off the labor impasse and had them concentrating on coming together as a team. And who can argue with the results? With a short preparation window after a new CBA was signed, the Saints hit the turf running on their way to a 13-3 season. They were one of a handful of legitimate Super Bowl contenders, led by a quarterback who established more personal records than the Beatles. It was a time the team needed its leader to step forward, and he did it.

We now find ourselves at a similar moment in Saints history. Who Dat Nation and its provinces have suffered tremendous embarrassment because of a rogue coach's hubris and the widespread complicity that enabled an infection to spread untreated until it festered. Now is time for the healing, which would begin with dedicated leadership who will use the distractions as a rallying point. Only one event can achieve all that: When Drew Brees lifts his Montblanc and signs a new long-term contract on or before May 22.

by Jim W. Miller, former Exec. VP for the New Orleans Saints

When Drew Brees and New Orleans Saints will sign the contract

TheOak 05-10-2012 06:37 AM


Jankman8 05-10-2012 06:52 AM


darstep 05-10-2012 10:07 AM

I know Brees wants to be front and center churning the chant and getting the guys
fired up for 2012, and what beter time to do it than at the start.
I also believe it will get done before OTA's get started.
We've got 11 days.

SapperSaint 05-10-2012 10:19 AM

fingers, toes, arms, legs and eys are crossed

NOLA54 05-10-2012 11:20 AM

I think Drew & the Saints have known all along when he will sign.

darstep 05-10-2012 11:24 AM

Louisiana state taxes are due next Tuesday.
It will be after that.

QBREES9 05-10-2012 11:35 AM

Ok lets make this happen ! May 22 it will be a good day in Saints History.

AsylumGuido 05-10-2012 04:44 PM

That's the date I have been expecting all along.

Ashley 05-10-2012 07:19 PM

Then it's time to get to work!

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