With the New Orleans Saints backed into a budget-room corner, an extension with Drew Brees to help ease his current cap hit is almost necessary. Baltimore Raven's Quarterback Joe Flacco's mammoth extension (potentially qualifying as the most expensive extension in NFL history) has now set the bar for Drew Brees.
Joe Flacco's $66.4M three-year extension pays Flacco an average of $22.1M per year. Even if Drew were to ask for $22M per year, this would still free up approximately 8M in cap space (Drew's current cap hit this year is a whopping 30M). Flacco, a Super Bowl MVP and Ravens All-Time Leading QB in Wins, TDs, Completions, and Yards, is still not as good a Quarterback as Drew Brees, even at this stage of their respective careers (with Brees six years older than Flacco).
Is Drew Brees worth $22M per year? If Flacco is worth $22M, then Drew definitely is. Will the Saints pay Drew that much? If he asks for it, again, the answer is absolutely yes.
Drew Brees is without question the greatest New Orleans Saints player in franchise history. He has had a great career in the Bayou, and has led a prolific offense for most of the Drew Brees-Sean Payton tenure. The offense lives and dies with Drew's arm, for better or worse, and that makes a healthy Drew Brees the key to the Saints success for at least the next few years. If Drew asks for $22M per year, he absolutely deserves it.
But, then again, maybe he doesn't ask for that much. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has continuously taken pay cuts to help the Patriots spend money on players around him. In fact, the cap hit of the arguable 2015 AFC MVP Tom Brady is only $15M for next year. With the Saints having so many holes to fill on the team, especially on the defensive side of the ball, we have to figure Brees is not ignorant to the Saints position. He knows full well that the Saints have a lot of needs with not a lot of money. He also knows that he has made over $150M over the course of his career in the NFL, and that is not including the millions he makes on the side with endorsements to companies like Nyquil, Wrangler, and others. Maybe Drew approaches the Saints and offers to take less money in an extension so the Saints could use the additional freed cap space on other positions - maybe on offensive linemen to help protect him, for instance. But if Drew refuses to take any sort of "hometown discount," no one can fault him for trying to provide the best life for him and his family, and no one can question that he deserves every cent.