(CBS) - By basically any metric, Drew Brees is the greatest New Orleans Saint in the team's history. He is one of the most accurate quarterbacks to ever play the game, broke the single season passing yards record last season, and led New Orleans to the franchise's only Super Bowl victory. So it's not surprising that Brees wants his new contract to reflect his worth to the organization. Previous reports said that Brees and the Saints were "roughly $5 million a year apart" in sealing the deal. But instead of ironing out the details, on Monday the Saints used their franchise tag on Brees, a move that left the quarterback "livid."
CBSSports.com reporter Larry Holder writes: "Brees is 'livid' about being... tagged and not receiving a long-term contract, according to WIST-AM in New Orleans. The radio station cites sources in the Brees camp that he will not sign the franchise tag deal. Brees and the Saints have until July 15 to hammer out a long-term deal. It a deal isn't struck, Brees must sign the franchise tag deal or hold out."
The report is the latest bit of bad news for an organization still reeling from charges of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams'that offered bonuses to defenders for, among other things, injuring opposing players. The scandal, as well as the possibility of league sanctions that could include player suspensions and draft pick forfeitures, makes Brees more important than ever to the Saints.
If Brees does decide to hold out, he may be in the unique position of having more power than the organization. As the face of the team, and one of the NFL's most elite players, he could be in the position of getting exactly what he wants. With a front office battered by bad news, locking up Brees seems like a no-brainer.
What the hell are the Saints doing? I've said this before. There are certain players, only a handful, where you open the vault and roll out the cash. You give them a blank check. Brees is one of those players. Franchising Brees is going to anger him, no question. Players despise the tag because it limits their earning potential. So you've ticked off your best player. For what? Why?