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CBA language could give Drew Brees contract leverage

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; More insight for all those flaming on either Brees or the Saints organization: The NFL Players Association's interpretation of language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement could give New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees considerable leverage in talks towards a long-term ...

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Old 05-26-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
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CBA language could give Drew Brees contract leverage

More insight for all those flaming on either Brees or the Saints organization:



The NFL Players Association's interpretation of language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement could give New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees considerable leverage in talks towards a long-term extension, according to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports.


That's where the interpretation of two sections of Article 10 in the CBA come into play. Section 1 reads that "Except as set forth in Section 9 below, each Club shall be permitted to designate one of its players who would otherwise be an Unrestricted Free Agent as a Franchise Player each season during the term of this Agreement.".

Meanwhile, Section 2(b) of the 2011 CBA reads "Any Club that designates a player as a Franchise Player for the third time shall, on the date the third such designation is made, be deemed to have tendered the player a one-year NFL Player Contract for the greater of: (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position (within the categories set forth in Section 7(a) below) with the highest such average; (B) 120% of the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position (within the categories set forth in Section 7(a) below) at which the player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year; or (C) 144% of his Prior Year Salary."


The Saints would consider 2013 as the second time they will have designated Brees as their franchise player, which would require a tender worth 120 percent of his previous year's salary, or $19.645 million. Cole adds that the Saints have been using that interpretation of the CBA and franchise tag formula in their negotiations with Brees. Since Brees played the 2005 season under the franchise tag while a member of the San Diego Chargers, his agent, Tom Condon of CAA Football, and the NFLPA would argue that 2013 would be the third time in his career where Brees will have been designated a franchise player, and therefore requires a tender at 144 percent of his previous year's salary, or $23.574 million.

Either way, both sides acknowledge that Brees is under the Saints' control for the next two seasons and are trying to gain leverage. Under the NFLPA's interpretation of the CBA language, Brees' camp would currently be looking to negotiate off a two-year guaranteed floor of $39.945 million (the cost of both franchise tenders under their formula) and a clear path to free agency in 2014, while the Saints' formula puts the two-year tender amount at $36.016 million while retaining the possibility of a "third tender" (worth a jaw-dropping $28.289 million) in 2014.

I'm not a lawyer, so take this for what it's worth, but my interpretation of the language in the CBA is that a team can designate one of its unrestricted free agents as a Franchise Player three times. So on that issue, I think the Saints are correct. That said, it's ridiculous that the Brees negotiations have dragged on for this long.

In 95 regular season games since arriving in New Orleans in 2006, Brees has passed for 28,394 yards with 201 touchdowns and 93 interceptions. The Saints have won 62 of those 95 starts and are 5-3 in eight playoff games, including a win in the franchise's first and only Super Bowl appearance. Brees hasn't missed a game due to injury, he's an active and valuable member of the community and, after turning 33 in January, is the same age New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was when he signed a four-year, $72-million contract in 2010.


CBA language could give Drew Brees contract leverage - NFL.com


IMO this delay is more about Tom Condon than Brees or the Saints or football.

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Old 05-27-2012, 04:34 AM   #2
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Yahoo! Sports: Saints QB Drew Brees' contract efforts could be aided by language in CBA

If the NFL Players Association is right, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees could gain some serious leverage against the team.

Brees was franchised by the San Diego Chargers in 2005 and was designated as such by the Saints this offseason. If the 2005 tag counts as being franchised a second time under the current collective bargaining agreement, his one-year tender would jump drastically in 2013 if the two sides fail to agree on a long-term deal and New Orleans tags him again next year.

This offseason, Brees has been tendered a one-year contract for $16.371 million that he has yet to sign. The two sides are seemingly far apart on agreeing to a long-term deal. Failing to reach one would open the door for Brees to be franchised by the Saints again next year.

Under the standard formula, Brees would get another 20 percent raise of the average top five quarterbacks' salaries, earning him around $19.645 million. The Saints have been using those figures as the base of a long-term contract offer that averages between $17 million and $18 million.

However, if the union is correct in its CBA interpretation and 2013 would count as the third time Brees has been franchised, his cap number would be $23.574 million. Under the terms of the CBA, a player who is franchised three times gets at least a 44 percent increase in his salary.

The issue then comes down to interpreting the language of the CBA. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello would not clarify how the NFL Management Council views the situation. If the council interprets Brees' franchise tag with the Chargers not being governed by the current CBA, the union would have to prove otherwise. In the meantime, Brees' representation is looking to use the inflated figure as leverage for a more favorable long-term deal now.

"I don't think the Saints are counting on that situation," a source said of Brees possibly having a $23 million-plus franchise tag. "I think [New Orleans general manager] Mickey Loomis is crunching some much lower numbers than that."

Loomis is also trying to crunch some different logic with his fellow executives. Last week, two executives from other teams said Loomis was saying he intended to keep Brees' contract in line with being "one of the top five quarterbacks in the league."

"I think Mickey has dug himself in on his logic and there's no way to get him out of that thinking right now," the source said. "That's why they are where they are right now."

In February, Loomis told at least three sources that Brees was a "very good" quarterback after another executive called Brees "great."

Although Loomis promised last week that a new deal would be done, Brees has repeatedly expressed "frustration" with the process, and two other sources said there has been little movement by either side over the past two months.

For Brees' part, those sources have said that he likely will not sign the franchise tag at all. That's hard to believe, but Brees' ultimate leverage play would be to not show up at all this season as the Saints deal with the aftereffects of the bounty scandal.

Another team executive said part of the problem right now is psychological.

"There's no reason for either side to back down because the automatic response is to ask, 'Why would you back down now if you wouldn't back down three months ago?' For one side to agree would be acknowledging they lost and these kinds of negotiations are always better when both sides can walk away and claim some victory," the executive said. "If Brees takes less, people will say, 'Why did you stay away from the offseason?' If the Saints give more, people will say, 'Why didn't you do this before so we could re-sign [guard Carl] Nicks?' "

Both executives indicated that the game of chicken with Brees is somewhat silly on New Orleans' part.

"In this league, the five or six star players on your team are the ones who drive your team. Those players can pretty much demand whatever they want," one of the executives said. "You either have a great quarterback who you're paying $19 [million] or $20 million per year or you have a mediocre quarterback who you're paying $13 million."

In the case of Brees, the difference between paying $18 million per year versus $20 million per year is really negligible in the grand scheme.

"When you have a cap of $120 million, the trick is to know where you can make up that $2 million a year. You can find it somewhere; that's not the hard part," one of the executives said. "The hard part is getting a great player like Brees and getting him under a long-term deal. Some fans think there's a big difference between a linebacker who makes $3 million per year and one who makes $2 million per year. There isn't. But there's a big difference between quarterbacks."

Or as the other executive said: "I would like to be in the position that the Saints are in. It's not a problem to have a great quarterback, even if you think it's a problem in paying him."

Saints QB Drew Brees' contract efforts could be aided by language in CBA - Yahoo! Sports
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by saintsfan1976 View Post
"Any Club that designates a player as a Franchise Player for the third time... "

I agree this sentence would need clarification from the NFLPA. It doesn't specify that the condition is the player being tagged 3 times by the same team, just that he's tagged 3 times.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tobias-Reiper View Post
I agree this sentence would need clarification from the NFLPA. It doesn't specify that the condition is the player being tagged 3 times by the same team, just that he's tagged 3 times.
Is this the first player to get franchised by different teams? I doubt it. Whichever formula they have been using in the past is the correct formula. This looks more like an act of desperation on Condon's part because I believe Loomis is done haggling. There is no way anybody is going to get the upper hand on him.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Beastmode View Post
Is this the first player to get franchised by different teams? I doubt it. Whichever formula they have been using in the past is the correct formula. This looks more like an act of desperation on Condon's part because I believe Loomis is done haggling. There is no way anybody is going to get the upper hand on him.
The formula from the past became obsolete with the new CBA, that's the problem: there would need to be some clarification as to what was meant in that sentence, if the franchise tags from before the new CBA still apply, if it was meant a team franchising the same player 3 times, or just the player being franchised 3 times, etc.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
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If the Saints don't sign him, the Saints might win 7 games. When they sign him, they are legit Super Bowl contenders. That's all the leverage he needs.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cruize View Post
If the Saints don't sign him, the Saints might win 7 games. When they sign him, they are legit Super Bowl contenders. That's all the leverage he needs.
You never know...entertain the thought of the Saints winning a playoff game with Chase. The following year they could focus on upgrading some key positions, something that is not possible with Brees. I'm playing devil's advocate here, but if this scenario played out it might not be all that bad. How much longer can Brees play at his current level? A few years maybe. Chase is 26. Can he do what Brees does? No, but with some key upgrades on defense he might not have to.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cruize View Post
If the Saints don't sign him, the Saints might win 7 games. When they sign him, they are legit Super Bowl contenders. That's all the leverage he needs.
A deal will get done and we will the Super Bowl !
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:02 PM   #9
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tobias-Reiper View Post
I agree this sentence would need clarification from the NFLPA. It doesn't specify that the condition is the player being tagged 3 times by the same team, just that he's tagged 3 times.
Clarification will look like this:

"Courts abide by the rule that an ambiguous contract is interpreted against the party who drafted it. In other words, the party who did not draft the contract will be given the benefit of the doubt so to speak."

Interpretation of Ambiguous contracts - Interpretation of Contracts - Contracts


In other words, the CBA is a contract drafted by the NFL (representing the franchise owners) and the NFLPA (representing the players).

If the NFL (and owners) did not clarify the terms of a third franchise tag then the Player (Drew) is given the benefit of the doubt and that is who the court would side with.
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