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Report: Brees offered to help Saints make cap space for Norman

Drew Brees, Marcus Mariota

AP

Before cornerback Josh Norman signed with Washington on Friday night, a surprising report emerged that he was drawing strong interest from New Orleans. That raised an obvious question: How on earth could the Saints, with $3.5 million in cap space, afford a premier free agent like Norman?

The answer is that Drew Brees was willing to create the space by agreeing to a new deal with the Saints. According to ESPN, Brees wanted Norman on the Saints and offered to re-do his contract to get the deal done.

Brees, who has the NFL’s highest cap hit this season at $30 million, is widely expected to work out a new contract with the Saints some time this year. But Brees apparently thinks highly enough of Norman that he was willing to expedite the process of getting a deal done if it would allow the Saints to get a deal done with Norman. Brees played against Norman several times when Norman played for the Panthers, and Brees apparently thinks Norman is the kind of player who could help the Saints get back to the Super Bowl.

It didn’t happen, as Washington made Norman a huge offer and Norman quickly accepted. But it speaks well for Norman that an opposing quarterback would have such a high opinion of him. And it speaks well for Brees’ future in New Orleans that he and the Saints are close enough on a new deal that one could have been done as soon as this weekend.