Saints execs not the only ones at fault in Brees’ negotiations

Colonels take 2 in SLC series
March 14, 2012
LSU football opens spring practices
March 14, 2012
Colonels take 2 in SLC series
March 14, 2012
LSU football opens spring practices
March 14, 2012

It’s easy to say something without merit.

Watch and learn.

I’m going to fly to the moon this weekend. While there, me and my alien friends will enjoy a green bean casserole and some of the finest moon pies known to mankind.

Sound silly?

It’s supposed to – that’s me talking out of my rear end. I’m afraid of heights and the closest I’ve ever gotten to an alien was watch Sam Cassell play basketball.

I do it. You do it. We all have these moments where we puff out our chests and stretch the truth so thin that it’s tapping for mercy.

Heck, that’s why there’s a vocabulary word for the term – exaggeration.

Apparently New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has those same moments as well.

Because it appears he, too, was stretching the truth when he said he would be willing to resign with the Saints for less money in order to keep key free agents like Marques Colston and Carl Nicks in the organization.

The truth is he has actually done anything but cooperate with the team’s efforts and has turned this ordeal into a hostage situation.

Before this turns into a column that ends in the local sportswriter getting reamed and crucified by irrational Saints fans who would never fathom anything negative being said about their beloved quarterback, let me clarify a few things.

The first is that I believe Brees should be given a blank check in these negotiations.

Before the quarterback’s arrival, this franchise was a joke in the grand scheme of competitiveness league-wide.

With Brees’ arrival, the Saints are annual contenders and were arguably one play away from winning their second Super Bowl in three seasons.

From bags on heads to complete relevance – that’s the flip in script that Brees brought to the team.

That management isn’t willing to bend over backwards to keep that man in New Orleans for the rest of his life is infuriating and it’s something that could end up getting both Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton fired.

It could also get team owner Tom Benson thrust into the role of New Orleans’ most hated man. It’s a role he’s been in before, so he knows the territory.

The second point I’d like to make about Brees is that he’s hands-down one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the NFL. That’s really not a cause for discussion. The only names that could be considered above Brees at the point are Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Period. End of discussion.

Sure, some might say the Saints’ system does the heavy lifting for Brees. That’s a valid point. But would the NFL record have crumbled if Chase Daniel were under center for the Black and Gold this season?

I venture to say it wouldn’t have.

Despite all of the great things Brees has done for the franchise, the fact remains the same – he went on record multiple times and said he would take less money than other elite quarterbacks for the sake of keeping other free agents in house.

But when push has come to shove, reports say that the team and player are well apart on a long-term deal and the underlying issue: money.

Reports say the Saints want to pay the quarterback an average of $18 million per season over the life of a brand-new, sparkling five-year deal.

The same reports say Brees has scoffed at that offer and instead wants $23 million per season over the first three years of the deal.

Sounds like someone trying to pinch pennies for the sake of the team?

It surely doesn’t to me.

To make matters worse, once the Saints franchised Brees, further reports indicated that the quarterback was ‘livid’ about the tag and ‘will not sign it.’

So to recap: A quarterback trying to take a pay cut for the sake of his team’s future success is now not signing the franchise tag, holding his team hostage and is threatening to hold out if not given the money he feels he deserves?

Again I ask – does this sound like someone trying to better his team?

Again I state – it surely doesn’t seem as such to me.

Drew Brees has been a ray of sunshine within the Saints’ organization – the true reason why the team is where it is today.

He’s done nothing but right for New Orleans since his arrival and will forever be one of the state’s most beloved athletes.

But right now, he is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

And if we’re here to call a spade a spade, we have to tell it like it is – that’s wrong.

If you don’t to take a pay cut and are all about maximizing your own revenue stream – that’s fine.

But don’t lie to your fans and give them hope when you know good and well what your true intentions are.

We’ll see how the remainder of this situation plays out, but one thing stands out clearest in my mind as this situation blossoms.

When Brees is getting knocked to the turf more often in 2012 because of the team’s sudden void at offensive guard, he has no one to blame but himself.

It’s easy to say you’re going to fly to the moon.

It’s another thing to actually do it.

New Orleans deserves better than that from you, Drew.