Drew Brees and the Saints reached a deal on par with the quarterback’s record-setting play, giving New Orleans fans some news they can celebrate after an offseason rife with turmoil.
The team announced Friday that it had agreed to a five-year contract with Brees. 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, 33, 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 contract, which now gives him the highest average annual pay ($20 million) in NFL history. Brees’s deal tops the previous benchmark contract for elite QBs set by the five-year, $96 million deal Denver gave to Peyton Manning this offseason.
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 seasonlong suspensions of head coach Sean Payton and linebacker Jonathan Vilma, among other sanctions.
In 2011, Brees set NFL season records with 468 completions, 5,476 yards passing, and a 71.2 completion percentage.
Seattle cuts Williams
Receiver Mike Williams was cut by the Seahawks two weeks before the start of training camp. Williams’s career was rejuvenated in 2010 after getting a second chance from Seattle coach Pete Carroll following flops in Detroit and Oakland. But Williams could never develop a connection with new quarterback Tarvaris Jackson in 2011 and his season was cut short by a broken left ankle . . . Prosecutors agreed to reset Adrian Peterson’s court date to Aug. 6 on a misdemeanor charge stemming from an incident at a Houston nightclub last weekend. The Vikings star running back was charged with resisting arrest, briefly jailed, and released on bond. Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, requested a delay to gather more information.