Drew Brees is at the middle of all the Saints do, meaning a long-term deal was guaranteed to get done. (Getty Images)
Now that Drew Brees has agreed to stay with New Orleans another five seasons, Saints fans can come in off the ledge. But I’m not sure why they were there in the first place. Brees and the Saints getting a deal done made too much sense not to happen.
If there were a surprise it was only in why it took this long, and don’t ask me. Brees winds up with a ton of money, including $60 million guaranteed over the first three years, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand that a contract of that size requires considerable negotiating.
But don’t tell me you didn’t think this would happen because it was a slam dunk from the start. First of all, Brees is the face of the franchise. Second, he’s coming off a record-breaking year. Third, he’s the most valuable and most productive player on the Saints. Fourth, he’s the guy who brought the club credibility and delivered its only Super Bowl. And, fifth, after all the Saints have been through this offseason it was high time they had something positive to announce.
Trust me, after months of dissecting Bountygate, this is Mardi Gras in July.
I don’t want to say I told you so, but I told you so. Back in early June I wrote about Brees and the Saints and pointed out that signing him to a long-term deal was not a question of “if” but a question of “when” and that all that angst expressed throughout Saints Nation was misguided because this wasn’t a race; it was a negotiation. Sooner or later the Saints would sign Brees to a long-term deal because … well, because they had no choice.
I mean, what are the New Orleans Saints without Drew Brees? The Aints, that’s what. So the club took care of its star as it should have. I don’t care that it committed a ton of guaranteed money to the contract. This is Drew Frickin’ Brees, and there is no one more significant on the New Orleans sports scene. The Saints took care of him because that’s what you do with your best players — just as New England took care of Tom Brady and Denver took care of Peyton Manning.
OK, so talks dragged out until Friday. Big deal. The Saints did what they had to do, and now we all can move on and not talk about Drew Brees’ contract again. Brees made a commitment to the Saints when few others would have. Now the club returns the favor, and that’s not only right, it’s a no-brainer.