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The Future of Drew Brees

I wanted to shift gears today and break away from the monotony of training camp/pre-season talk. We've analyzed every player and position battle quite enough this last month and I think we deserve a little time off. Just for today let's forget about the present and talk a little bit about the future, particularly as it pertains to the man we all know and love, Drew Brees. I will just come right out with it and say that the huge new quarterback contracts being signed have got me a bit worried.

It started a few weeks ago when I heard the news about Eli Manning's fat new $97 million contract. I gave pause for just one second to think about what that might mean for Drew Brees and his eventual contract negotiations with the Saints. Then a few days ago Phillip Rivers inked his new 6-year deal worth $92 million and those same thoughts lingered in my brain. I quickly came to the simple conclusion: Brees will definitely command that same kind of money, if not more, when the time comes. How it all plays out and who winds up paying him, however, is anyone's guess.

Drew is currently in the middle of a 6-year, $60 million deal he signed in March of 2006 - $37 million less than Manning's latest payday. That means he's due a new contract after the 2011 season. Given the ever increasing nature of today's NFL contracts, particularly when it comes to the all important quarterback position, there is no telling how much money Brees will be worth when it's his turn to sign on the dotted line.

You can imagine it will inevitably be higher as the years pass and other players sign. Players like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, who are both due new contracts after the 2010 season, a year before Brees. I would expect at least one of them to sign a record deal and set the bar even higher before Drew's turn comes around. You can forget about the possibility of Brees ever renegotiating before either Brady or Manning. His agent would never allow that. We do, however, want to keep in mind the possibility of an uncapped 2011 season, meaning a team like Dallas could lure Brees away with some ridiculous offer he can't refuse.

Right now all we have are questions, of which there are plenty. Assuming he continues at this pace or better (wink, wink), just how much will Brees be worth when the time comes? More importantly, will the Saints be willing to pay? If they do, will it leave enough money to afford other talented players around him as well? In an uncapped season, will the Saints be willing or able to match a crazy high contract offer? Would Drew ever accept less money just to stay in New Orleans? Worst of all, will 2011 be a good time to part with a possibly declining Brees?

Feel free to answer any and all of these questions and use them as a jumping off point for sharing your own thoughts and inner fears about the future.