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TheOak 07-03-2012 04:19 PM

Drew Brees wins franchise-tag grievance vs. NFL, Saints
 
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Drew Brees scored a win in his ongoing battle for a new contract Tuesday, when system arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled in the New Orleans Saints quarterback's favor on a franchise-tag grievance filed by the NFL Players Association and heard last week in Philadelphia.

Brees argued that the next franchise tag he's assigned should count as his third since he was tagged in 2005 as a San Diego Charger and this offseason as a Saint. Language on the matter in the new collective bargaining agreement was vague, saying "any club" using the tag a third time on a player would have to tender that player at 144 percent of his previous year's salary, but not specifying if it had to be the same club tagging the player each time.

With this win, Brees' 2013 franchise tag would be set at 144 percent of his 2012 salary, rather than 120 percent. Brees' franchise tender is worth $16,371,000, meaning his 2013 tender would be set at $23,574,240, putting his two-year total at $39,945,240.

"We are very pleased that that the arbitrator agreed with the NFLPA that the correct interpretation of the 'third time' Franchise Player designation in the CBA applies across clubs, and a player's rights will not be unfairly hindered if different clubs designate him as a Franchise Player during his career," the NFLPA said in a release.

"The arbitrator properly rejected the NFL's strained interpretation of the CBA language, which ignored the fact that a Franchise Player designation is a narrow exception to the overall free agency structure. This ruling will help all Franchise Players in the future.

"We are very happy that Drew Brees has clarification on this matter, and we hope that it facilitates a successful negotiation for Drew and the Saints."

The NFL declined to comment on Burbank's ruling when reached by NFL.com and NFL Network.

While it's expected that a long-term deal will prevent the 2013 franchise tag from ever being used on Brees, Burbank's decision creates a leverage point for the quarterback's camp and clarifies a grey area in negotiations.
"Both parties correctly argue that Section 2(b)'s ambiguity easily could have been avoided, although I do not find the interpretive nourishment the NFLPA apparently does in that provision's use of 'a player' (or 'a Franchise Player') instead of 'one of its players,' " Burbank wrote. "Again, the core ambiguity seems to derive from the use of 'for the third time.' If the parties had intended the meaning urged by the NFL, it would have been a simple matter to replace that phrase with 'three times.' Given language elsewhere ... suggesting that the parties had a different purpose, one that is consistent with the derogative role Franchise Player designation plays in the structure of the CBA, I conclude that, were the Saints (or any other Club) to designate Brees a Franchise Player in 2013, such designation would be subject to the terms of Section 2(b)."

Brees and the Saints have until July 16 to hammer out a long-term deal. If they can't reach an agreement by then, Brees will be limited to playing on a one-year contract, and the Saints will be in the position of having to use the 2013 franchise tag, now set at roughly $23.6 million, on him.


Drew Brees wins franchise-tag grievance vs. NFL, Saints - NFL.com

TheOak 07-03-2012 04:19 PM

I sorta said this would be the ruling :-)

RaginCajun83 07-03-2012 04:21 PM

No kidding ....

TXGSP 07-03-2012 04:23 PM

With the release of this news and the announcement of the suspension appeal coming so soon after this it doesn't seem like a coincidence.

With the Brees decision hopefully the Saints can get this contract finalized.

ScottF 07-03-2012 05:05 PM

Again, this means nothing for us.
Brees isn't going to play under the tag, which means he plans on having a long term contract. Therefore, we won't be tagging him again next year.

pumpkindriver 07-03-2012 05:15 PM

Brees did this for 2 reasons, bargaining power in his current contract with the Saint's and also for all players down the road. Look for the announcement on the 16th.

Seer1 07-03-2012 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pumpkindriver (Post 416073)
Brees did this for 2 reasons, bargaining power in his current contract with the Saint's and also for all players down the road. Look for the announcement on the 16th.

Or sooner. Now everyone involved knows the $$$ facts, we could be breathin' easier real soon.

voodooido 07-03-2012 05:29 PM

count on him signing a multi year deal soon. Saints will be more open now that a 23.5 mil contract is what they are facing. I see a 5yr 20.5 mil deal

Danno 07-03-2012 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pumpkindriver (Post 416073)
Brees did this for 2 reasons, bargaining power in his current contract with the Saint's and also for all players down the road. Look for the announcement on the 16th.

I believe reason 1, but not sold on reason 2.

SaintsBro 07-03-2012 05:41 PM

The thing that leaps out at me the most about this decision, is that it's clear that the NFLPA lawyers have really been running rings around the NFL's lawyers, both in the bounty business and also in this stuff from the CBA from last year into now. I mean, how could you not see that language "any player" in the agreement and not see where this leads. For having this reputation of being such an iconic, big, badass, mega-influential corporation, the NFL has really had some of the shoddy lawyering I have ever seen. They're like buffoons.


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