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Could Drew Brees Leave the New Orleans Saints Via Free Agency?: Fan’s Opinion
Make any list you want concerning all-time great New Orleans Saints players and the debate ends when you reach number two. I don't need to waste anyone's time singing the praises of Drew Brees. Suffice it to say that Brees is the greatest, most valuable player in New Orleans Saints history.
However, New Orleans GM Mickey Loomis and Brees have failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension for the Saints QB. Brees recently announced that he was ending contract discussions with the Saints until the season is over. Is it possible that Brees could become a free agent and leave the New Orleans Saints?
Chris Paul and David West
I think most Saints fans have taken it for granted that Brees will remain in New Orleans. While I also believe this is true, I can't help but consider the unthinkable in the wake of the departures of Chris Paul and David West from the Hornets.
The recent success of the Saints has not completely wiped out my former sense of doom and pessimism concerning New Orleans sports. However, the NFL and NBA are worlds apart when it comes to free agency. There is no stigma about small market NFL teams and the league is so popular that players get exposure no matter where they play.
Brees and the Saints
I believe Brees is a man of character and will give New Orleans every opportunity to keep him with the Saints. After he breaks Dan Marino's record and brings the Saints back to the playoffs, New Orleans may need to make Brees the highest paid player in the NFL.
The Saints have negotiated in good faith in the past with players who gave 100% in their contract year. Saints players who reported to camp and played hard have always been rewarded by this administration. Hopefully, making the deal happen with Brees will just be a formality for New Orleans.
This is the main reason why Saints fans do not need to toss and turn at night. In the event that New Orleans cannot sign Brees, they have the right to name him the Saints franchise player. In short, the franchise tag would keep Brees in New Orleans for 2012 by paying him a salary based on the average of other highly paid NFL QBs.
However, the franchise tag would be a last resort for the Saints to keep Brees in New Orleans. In the past, this move has angered NFL players who wanted to move on and often ensures the player will leave next year. Although the Saints are holding this ace, I doubt they will have to play it.
Drew Brees in the Big Easy
Brees should try to get every penny he can because NFL careers are so short. But at the end of the day, Brees will stay with the Saints. New Orleans took a chance on Brees when no other NFL team was interested in him. Brees knows this and will eventually stop quibbling over the finer points of his contract with New Orleans.
I work five minutes away from where Drew Brees lives. He is as much a part of New Orleans as any native son. If Brees left for the bright lights and big city, he would never experience the love, affection and iconic status in the community that he does with the Saints in New Orleans.
I have faith that Drew Brees will be the QB of the New Orleans Saints in 2012 and beyond!
Patrick Michael was born and raised in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. As such, he is a lifelong, diehard New Orleans Saints fan. His highlight as a Saints fan was experiencing the magical Super Bowl season of 2009.
Mike Triplett, "Drew Brees hasn't let contract status become distraction," nola.com
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