This week, the McPaper released its list of the highest-earning NFL players in 2006, along with its updated NFL salary database. NFL salary information always runs a season behind, so we're just now finding out how each player fared; from the looks of it, Drew Brees had a great 2006 in just about every regard.
Unlike other sports, NFL bonuses are often lumped into one season's salary, so it's not uncommon to see a player earn an astronomical sum one season, then drop to a smaller sum the next. That may be the case for Brees who, in the first year of a 6-year, $60 million contract, earned an impressive $22 million. Of this, Brees' base salary accounted for only $1.9 million; his bonuses added up to $20.1 million. In 2006, Brees' salary was the second-highest in the NFL, trailing only New England's Richard Seymour, who earned $24.7 million. In an example of the odd structure of NFL salaries, Seymour will only receive $700,000 in 2007.
In 2006, Brees reigned among quarterbacks, typically the highest-paid position. His $22 million salary was $6 million higher than New England's Tom Brady, and $7 million higher than Cincinnati's Carson Palmer.
Update [2007-7-5 11:29:15 by Sunil]:The McPaper also has a very good article about Drew Brees, his shoulder and his role in the rebuilding efforts. It's nothing that you haven't read before, but it's well written.