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Brees, Saints reach five-year, $100M deal

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Who dat? Dat Brees, who just got paid. (US Presswire)

It hasn't been a great offseason for the Saints. But Friday the 13th should provide a pleasant little memory for fans of the team: CBSSports.com's Jason LaCanfora confirms an earlier report that Drew Brees and the Saints reached an agreement on a five-year, $100 million deal.

The news was first reported by Chris Mortensen of ESPN. A league source tells LaCanfora that the Brees deal is heavily front-loaded with Brees receiving $40 million in the first year, roughly 40 percent of the base total value of the deal.

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Brees will then make $10 million in 2013 and $11 million in 2014, for a total of $61M over the first three years of the deal, worth a whopping average of $20 million in those years. Even more impressive, $60 million of Brees $61 million over that span is guaranteed.

Per LaCanfora, Brees could earn $40 million in the final two years as well, though at that point due to injury, if the Saints needed to get out of the deal, it appears they could do with relative ease.

"Congratulations are in order for our organization, our city, Drew and Brittany and certainly for Mickey Loomis and his staff for all of the hard work put in to make this possible," Saints owner Tom Benson said in a statement. "Now we must turn our focus to getting reading for the start of training camp and to keeping with our goal of being the first team in NFL history to host and play in a Super Bowl."

Yesterday, LaCanfora pointed out that the Saints really had no other choice but to give Brees the money he wanted. LaCanfora was absolutely correct, and the Saints eventually realized that, giving Brees a nearly unfathomable amount of guaranteed money.

The only reason the amount of cash New Orleans handed Brees is fathomable is his importance to that franchise. He brought the Saints their first Super Bowl. He broke Dan Marino's single-season passing yards record in 2011. He is the reason that New Orleans has been one of the most successful franchises in the NFL over the past few years.

And he's pretty excited about his new contract too.

Of course, it wasn't always easy to get a deal done. There was much hand-wringing in New Orleans this offseason and not just because of the ongoing bounty scandal. Brees was franchise-tagged by the Chargers after the 2005 season and injured his shoulder, leading him to play in NOLA. But because of that injury, he wasn't thrilled about playing under a one-year deal again, no matter how much it guaranteed him.

Things changed dramatically with a recent arbitration ruling, in which it was decided that a franchise tag of Brees in 2012 would count as a second franchise tag, thus bumping up the quarterback's price significantly.

Shortly after that news broke, a report emerged that Brees would hold out from training camp without a new deal. That opened up the possibility of the Saints staring down Chase Daniel as their starting quarterback. That was three days ago, and now Brees is paid.

Naturally, Daniel isn't upset about the news either.

The happiest folks, though, are Saints fans. Brees might be making $60 million guaranteed over the next three years, and the road to getting here might not have been easy. But for the first time this offseason, there's some good news in the Bayou. And on Friday the 13th no less.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson

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