The New Orleans Saints have placed their exclusive-rights franchise tag on quarterback Drew Brees, the team confirmed Saturday.
The Saints were unable to agree to a long-term deal with
Brees and didn't want to risk losing him in free agency.
The franchise tag for a quarterback currently
carries a $14.4 million salary cap hit, but the number could increase
later this spring when the quarterback cap numbers are re-evaluated.
told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Friday that Brees and the Saints
remain millions of dollars apart in contract talks.
two sides, both of which believe they are making a fair offer, are
facing a gap of $5 million per season for the first three seasons of the
proposal, sources told Schefter.
Brees is seeking a contract that averages $23 million per season for the first three years of his deal, sources told Schefter.
That's the same amount Peyton Manning's Colts contract averages the first three seasons.
the Saints are offering Brees a five-year contract that averages $18
million a year, sources told Schefter, which is the average that Manning
and New England's Tom Brady are due to earn over the life of their deals.
Brady's contract averages $18 million in the first three years, like the Saints' current offer to Brees.
January, Brees said he would be "beyond stunned" if he and the Saints
are unable to agree on a contract extension during this offseason.
2011 Offensive Player of the Year arrived in New Orleans in 2006, less
than a year after Hurricane Katrina had struck. Since then he has passed
for more yards than any other quarterback in the NFL (28,394) while
lifting the Saints to new heights and simultaneously helping a region
heal from Katrina's devastation.
In 2011, Brees set NFL single-season records with 468 completions,
5,476 yards passing and a completion percentage of 71.2. His prolific
passing numbers helped the Saints set a new NFL high for total offensive
yards in a season with 7,474.
The 33-year-old Brees led
the Saints to a 13-3 regular season record and second NFC South division
title. New Orleans defeated Detroit in the first round of the playoffs
before falling in the final seconds of their second-round game at San
Under the rules of the exclusive franchise tag,
Brees can't be contacted by other teams and remains exclusive property
of the Saints.