The clock is ticking, and by next Monday at 3 p.m., the New Orleans Saints have to offer quarterback Drew Brees a long-term contract or risk permanently ticking him off by forcing him to play under the franchise tag. Reports are coming out of New Orleans today that the Saints are putting a serious salary on the table — the highest ever in the NFL, in fact.


Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting that the Saints have put a contract between $19.2 million and $20 million on the table for their Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

Only an absurd amount of stubbornness could get in the way now.

The Saints have already offered Brees the richest contract in league history, surpassing the $19.2 million per year that the Denver Broncos gave quarterback Peyton Manning earlier this year, though it’s not clear exactly how the offer was structured.

Frankly, that should be enough to get the deal done. And maybe it will be if the Saints refuse to give another inch over the next week.

Meanwhile, Brees and agent Tom Condon will try to push that number up to $20 million per year, and they’ll push for more guaranteed money and more money in the first three years. And good for them if they can get it.

–SOURCE: — “It would be stunning upset if Drew Brees’ deal with New Orleans Saints isn’t done by July 16″

Obviously, only time will tell if this is really the deal or not. Regardless, as we’ve said before, Brees will be in New Orleans next year. The franchise tag will see to that. But to do so could permanently ruin the Saints’ relationship with Brees.

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