Drew Brees, Saints agree to a new two-year, $50M deal to keep QB in New Orleans

The retirement of Zach Strief is not necessarily great for Drew Brees and the Saints in terms of helping protect the quarterback, but it may have been great in terms of helping protect the quarterback from leaving New Orleans, as the Saints and Brees huddled up at the ceremony and hashed out a contract agreement that will keep Brees in New Orleans, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

La Canfora reports the deal is a two-year, $50 million pact that will keep Brees in New Orleans, as was always expected.

Rumors of the two sides making "significant progress" on a new contract to keep the quarterback from leaving in free agency started percolating early on Tuesday morning, not long after Strief's retirement ceremony on Monday. 

Brees was always expected to re-sign with the Saints. He's 39 years old and has spent the majority of his career in New Orleans; he brought a Super Bowl to the city and is a legend there. The Saints are going to be Super Bowl contenders next year.

The news of this contract is a little stunning though, because it apparently means Brees is taking less than full market value to stay in New Orleans. That's now how Brees operates nor is it how his agent Tom Condon works. New Orleans has taken advantage of its leverage against Brees in the past.

Now he will have to be content with taking less money than Kirk Cousins when they both sign contracts at the same time. 

Other teams reached out to Condon and Brees about leaving New Orleans, potentially putting the squeeze on the franchise to make a decision and pony up more money. But as La Canfora noted on Tuesday and as he noted on the Pick Six Podcast, it was going to be difficult for Brees to ever find a new market.

There was a pretty big deadline facing the Saints too, as the team was set to incur an $18 million dead cap hit at 4 p.m. on Wednesday when the new league year starts, regardless of where Brees plays next year. 

This was the likely ending for this situation, although Brees, even though he got $27 million guaranteed, probably took the lower end of his spectrum in terms of a deal.

Brees wanted to play for the Saints, the Saints want Brees to play for them and both sides should be invested in trying to win a Super Bowl in the remaining window of Brees career. Not hammering out a deal over the next 60 hours would be borderline negligent.

Deadlines spur action in the NFL and the Saints Wednesday deadline caused them to pick up the pace on their most important negotiation of the offseason. 

New Orleans is now fully prepped to make another Super Bowl run in the short window remaining for Brees.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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