If the Saints cannot reach a long-term extension with quarterback Drew Brees, they will use the franchise tag before the start of the 2012 league year, Charley Casserly of CBS Sports reports.
According to Casserly, Brees is seeking a long-term contract that averages $18 million per season and includes a $23.4 million average over the first three years of the contract. Those are the exact APY figures from the five-year, $90 million contract that Peyton Manning received from the Indianapolis Colts on July 31.
Brees and Manning are both represented by Tom Condon of CAA Football.
The franchise tag for the quarterback position is projected to be worth between $14.374 million and $14.926 million. Brees, who turns 33 in January, is earning $7.3935 million in base salary in 2011.
Through 14 games, the five-time Pro Bowler leads the NFL in passing completions (417), attempts (583) and yards (4,780), and ranks second in passing touchdowns (37) and passer rating (109.1). Brees is 305 yards away from setting a single-season passing yardage record and has already set an NFL single-season record with 11 300-yard passing games. Brees has passed for 300 yards in five straight games, one shy of tying Steve Young, Kurt Warner and Rich Gannon for the NFL record. Brees’ current five-game streak of 300-yard passing games is his second five-game 300-yard passing streak of the season.