Report: Drew Brees may decide to play under the franchise tag this season

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Earlier today we mentioned that Saints quarterback Drew Brees should get a new contract within the next week.  Now it looks like things could change.

According to Mike Florio of, there’s been some chatter around the league that Brees will end up playing the 2012 season under the franchise tag, since it would pay him $16 million this season.

If Brees played under the tag this year, it would then force  the Saints to meet his demands because they’d have no choice but to sign him to a long-term deal to avoid placing the franchise tag on him again in 2013, which in turn would pay him $24 million next year.

I understand where Florio is coming from, but if Brees played the next two seasons under the franchise tag, he’d make a total of $30 million.  On the other hand if the Saints give him the $20 million a year he’s looking for, he could make about $40 million in 2012-2013 instead of $30 million.   Of course he could make less then $40 million depending on guaranteed money.

It looks like it would be cheaper to place the franchise tag on Brees in 2013, then pay him now.  But in the end it would just make sense for the Saints to lock him up to a long-term deal and stop going back and forth.

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