After months of waiting and a LOT of nail biting in the Who Dat Nation, ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have come to an agreement on a five-year, $100 million contract.

According to league, players union, and team sources Brees will get $40 million as his first-year take in 2012. Guaranteed money in the deal will total to an NFL record $60 million, barring any contractual outs by the New Orleans Saints - which is highly unlikely.

Brees had until Monday at 4 P.M. ET to reach a long-term contract agreement with the Saints or be forced to play the 2012 season for $16.371 million under the terms of his franchise tender. According to multiple sources, the record-setting QB had no plans on reporting to training camp without a long-term deal.

Earlier this morning, the deal was made between Saints GM Mickey Loomis and Brees' agent Tom Condon. After the deal was done, Brees spoke to ESPN's Ed Werder.

I appreciate the diligence and steadfast efforts by both sides to get this deal done. I love my organization, team, and the city of New Orleans. Thank you especially to (owners) Gayle and Tom Benson for the opportunity. Now I need to go earn it.

Here is how Brees' contract breaks down.

  • His 2012 salary of $40 million is fully guaranteed.
  • In 2013, the Saints will have a three-day window (five days after the Super Bowl) to cut him.
  • If the Saints do not exercise their option to cut Brees in that three-day window, he gets another $15 million of guaranteed money in 2013.
  • In 2014, the same three-day scenario is in place, and if the Saints don't release Brees he is fully guaranteed another $5 million, with an additional $1 million in salary.
  • $60 million is fully guaranteed because of the extreme unlikelihood that Saints would pay Brees $40 million for one season, or $55 million for two.
  • The remaining $39 million will be earned in 2015 and 2016 but is subject to the same three-day waiver window stipulation.
  • The potential grand total is $100 million.
  • No player in NFL history has averaged $20 million per year.

In my opinion, Drew Brees' numbers, leadership and dedication combined validates a payday of such epic proportion.

During the past six seasons, Brees has not only led the Saints to their only Super Bowl title, but has completed more passes (2,488) for more yards (28,394) and more touchdowns (201) than any other quarterback in the NFL. His 67.8 percent completion rate spanning the past six seasons also tops the league.

In 2011, Brees set NFL single-season records with 468 completions, 5,476 yards passing and a completion percentage of 71.2. His prolific passing numbers helped the Saints set a new NFL high for total offensive yards in a season with 7,474.

As the old saying goes: "Pay the man" ... and today, the Saints finally cut the check. Now, can football season hurry up already?

Do you think Drew Brees contract is for too much, not enough, or just right?


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