|National Football League|
AP Source: QB Brees agrees to $100 million deal
By BRETT MARTEL
NEW ORLEANS (AP) The New Orleans Saints have re-signed quarterback Drew Brees to a five-year deal. A person familiar with the deal said it's for $100 million, with $60 million guaranteed.
The deal will also pay the quarterback $40 million the first year, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because financial details had not been publicly announced.
Brees posted a note on his Twitter page reading, "Deal is Done! Love you, Who Dat Nation. See you soon!"
He had been tagged as the Saints' exclusive franchise player and could not negotiate with other teams.
Had a deal not been reached, the tender for a quarterback was worth $16.3 million. Brees would have had to play for that amount or hold out for a better one-year deal, which would have left his long-term future in New Orleans uncertain.
Brees skipped the Saints' offseason practices while holding out for his new long-term contract, which now gives him the highest average annual pay ($20 million) in NFL history. Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams also has a $100 million contract, but for six years.
Now Brees is set to report for the opening of Saints training camp on July 24, a needed dose of good news for a club whose offseason has been plagued by the bounty scandal that resulted in the season-long suspensions of head coach Sean Payton and linebacker Jonathan Vilma, among other sanctions.
"Congratulations are in order for our organization, our city, Drew and (his wife) Brittany and certainly for (general manager) Mickey Loomis and his staff," Saints owner Tom Benson said in a written statement. "Now we must turn our focus to getting ready for the start of training camp and to keeping with our goal of being the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl on its own field." New Orleans is hosting the Super Bowl this February.
Brees' teammates quickly took to the social media website Twitter to congratulate him.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins wrote "Congrats bro ... You've changed the game on and off the field!!! No one deserves it more than you ... See u on the 24th."
Tight end Jimmy Graham tweeted: "Congrats (at)drewbrees ... very happy for you, your family and all the Whodat Nation .... let's go get the trophy."
During the past six seasons, Brees has not only led the Saints to their only Super Bowl title, but has completed more passes (2,488) for more yards (28,394) and more touchdowns (201) than any other quarterback in the NFL. His 67.8 percent completion rate spanning the past six seasons also tops the league.
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 an NFL high for total offensive yards in a season with 7,474. Brees' yards passing record shattered a mark of 5,084 set by Dan Marino back in 1984.
He led the Saints to a 13-3 regular-season record and second NFC South title in three seasons. New Orleans defeated Detroit in the first round of the playoffs before falling in the final seconds of its second-round game at San Francisco.
In the Big Easy, he enjoys the status of royalty, even being invited to serve as the honorary "king" of some of the city's biggest Mardi Gras parades.
Brees' new deal tops the previous benchmark contract for elite QBs set by the five-year, $96 million deal Denver gave earlier this offseason to Peyton Manning, who is 3 years older than Brees and sat out last season while recovering from neck surgery.
Updated July 13, 2012