OK, so this is a challenge to all of you who think the front office is pinching pennies when it comes to signing Brees. I want you to play the role of Mickey Loomis for a minute. Tell us, with facts and proof, how you would successfully pay Brees 23 million per season and continue to field a contending football team. I've grown tired of hearing and seeing people say to just "pay the man whatever he wants". Because i'm about to explain how Brees can take an average of 20 mil per season (making him highest paid) and still keep a respectable team in tact. Will Drew sign this deal? Well that would be up to him right?
2013: Devery Henderson and Jermon Bushrod are the most notable free agents to go. While the loss of Devery would be the easier one to understand (especially if Toon, Morgan, and/or Arrington fit in well), Bushrod will probably be much more expensive to maintain vs De la Puente (also a free agent after 2012). Since we have a 1st round pick in 2013, that pick could be used on a tackle and either he or Strief can take over the LT position.I have no faith in Brown but hope I am wrong. It would be nice if one of the lower round OL in this year's draft would step up, but I'm not too optimistic about that either. This would also be the year that Chris ivory and Courtney Roby would say their goodbyes also. Pay Brees 24 million in 2013. Resign De La Puente, Gallette, King, and a few other draft picks and free agents. This would also be the time to lock in Graham. Even though he"d make 575,000 in 2013, extend him with a progressively higher salary extension.
Beyond 2013: After paying Brees 51 million in 2 seasons, you owe 49 million over the next 3 seasons. (assuming a 5 year, 100 million dollar deal is signed) Thats an average of around 16.3 million a season. Make those incentive laden years. By that time, he'll come into the season at 35 years old. And by that time, guys like Colston, Graham, Evans, and Lofton will be getting paid serious money. So by that time, Drew will have made over 25 million for 2 seasons (beyond the 23 mil a season asking price) and although he"ll make less in 2014 and beyond, he'll still have a chance to set up his team to have cap space to improve. Deals can be restructured and extended at that point. So if he"s still at an MVP level by then, burn that bridge when you come to it.
Some of my numbers may be flawed, but it was simply a way to show what the Saints may have to do to get Brees signed and happy without dismantling the depth chart. Hopefully, you guys have a better idea on how to make this work. It's easy to say "sign Brees to whatever he wants". but do you really want to do that if it means that the entire team will have to take a major step backward?