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Brees’ franchise tender comes in at $16.371 million


Saints quarterback Drew Brees wants a long-term deal. But if he decides at some point to accept the one-year exclusive franchise tender, Brees will receive $16.371 million for 2012.

Or, in other words, $1.023 million per game.

The number reflects the average of the five highest-paid players at the quarterback position for the current year. (For non-exclusive franchise tenders, the average is based on the prior year.)

Restructurings of contracts by quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and Tom Brady drove down the average. Peyton Manning’s $18 million payout from the Broncos in 2012 helped boost the number a bit, even though the cap number is lower than what it would have been if Manning hadn’t been cut by the Colts.

If the Saints decide to go year-to-year with Brees, he’ll be entitled to $19.645 million in 2013 (i.e., 120 percent of his 2012 pay) and a whopping $28.289 million in 2014 (144 percent of his 2013 pay).

That’s a total of $64.3 million over three years. Thus, if Brees currently is looking for an average payout of more than $21.43 million per year over the next three years (which equates to $64.3 million over three years), it makes no financial sense for the Saints to offer him a long-term deal.