Drew Brees still has one year left on the six-year, $60 million contract he signed in 2006 with the Saints. According to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, don’t expect anything to get done until the Colts re-up with Peyton Manning, whose contract has expired in Indianapolis.
Manning and Brees are both represented by agent Tom Condon, and Manning’s deal is expected to set the market ceiling for franchise quarterbacks. Manning’s deal is expected to eclipse Tom Brady’s deal, which averages $18 million annually. The Colts placed the franchise tag on Manning, meaning next season he would make the average of the five highest-paid players at his position, $23 million for a quarterback. Similarly, the Saints could use the franchise tag on Brees after his deal expires in 2012.
At the NFL owners meetings in March, Sean Payton said a long-term contract extension for Brees was “certainly a priority. I think (General Manager Mickey Loomis) has got a real good handle on that. We put together a list of things that we want to get done. That’s a big one.” The Colts and Manning will continue to negotiate a long-term contract but the franchise tag gives the club a fall-back option in case they can’t work out a deal. Until then, the Brees deal likely will be on hold.