Tag: New Orleans Saints
This might have been the longest offseason ever experienced by the New Orleans Saints. Don’t mind last year’s break with the extended lockout and the uncertainty of whether we were going to have a football season at all. No, nothing compares to what the Saints have been through this summer. First they went under investigation by the league for allegedly setting up a pay-for-hurt bounty system. The NFL commissioner went on full blast against the Saints organization, banning various players, the head coach, a defensive coordinator and even the general manager for allegedly supporting this bounty system.
And to make things worst, just a few weeks ago, it was still uncertain whether the Saints were going to sign their franshise quarterback, the bound to be Hall of Famer, Drew Brees. So in their first game of the season, playing at the Superdome in New Orleans, the Saints had a huge responsibility. A win against the Redskins was certainly a must. They owed their fans. But the Saints couldn’t deliver. Drew Brees had a very uneasy first game of the season, completing only 24 of 52 passes for 339 yards with three touchdowns and 2 interceptions. It was not good enough and the Washington Redskins took a 40-32 win at New Orleans.
Little did they know that the Washington Redskins newest quarterback, Robert Griffin III was going to come out to his first-ever regular season game playing like an experienced veteran. Griffin, commonly known as RG3, finished his first match with 320 yards in 19 of 26 passing with no interceptions and a passer rating of 139.9. He also scrambled for 42 yards. Robert came out poised, filled with unusual confidence. And he took extraordinary advantage of every little extra second the New Orleans Saints defense gave him. He came out with several short, quick throws, and without missing a beat he completed his first 8 passes. This nice start included his seventh pass, released just before he was smacked down by blitzing safety Malcolm Jenkins. He threw a bullet down the lane to Pierre Garcon over the middle for an 88-yard touchdown. That was good enough to tie the second-longest scoring pass by a quarterback making his NFL debut.
In the postgame press conference, Robert Griffin III was very excited to speak to the press. “I’ve won a high school state championship and a bowl game in college, but to play in the NFL, the pinnacle of it all, and win your first game against a Hall of Famer in Drew Brees, it’s at the top,” Griffin said. “After the game, (Brees) told me he was proud of me. That’s big for him to say after he just lost the game.” On the other hand, the New Orleans Saints had to struggle so much just to stay in the game. They managed to pull within 40-32 on Darren Sproles’ 2-yard reception. But when Washington required a first down to all but put the game away, Griffin delivered a 22-yard strike to tight end Logan Paulsen. And there was no looking back after that.
When it comes to negotiating a multi-million dollar contract with a professional athlete, we all know t’s all about the money. And yet sometimes negotiations take on other angles and things get complicated. Yes, in the latest blog entries and articles we’ve been writing about the players transfers and the big moves going on in the NBA and the NFL, but this particular case between Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints is still one of our recurring topics. Basically because despite their long relationship and the very successful six years these two parts have failed to reach an agreement and the deadline is right there, right around the corner. If these two can reach an agreement before July 16th, not only would the two be bound to close on a one-year $16.371 million contract, according to the exclusive-rights franchise tender that restricts the free agent from signing with another team, he could miss out some of the first team practices.
Now, according to some sources close to the negotiations, Drew Brees has said that he will not sign the tender nor will he report to the New Orleans Saints training camp when it begins July 24. It seems as if Brees will try to play this one out and get the team to be a bit more flexible and give him the number he’s been asking for his new contract. He is not expected to miss any regular season games but it seems that he may leave the Saints guessing as to whether he will report in time for the team’s opener against the Washington Redskins on Sept. 9. He insists to keep the upper hand on this.
Now, check this part out. Because of the newly signed collective bargaining agreement, Drew Brees would have until the Tuesday after the 10th regular-season game to sign his tender. If he doesn’t comply with this, he would be prohibited from playing the remainder of the season. If Brees misses any games, his 2012 salary would be a prorated amount of the $16.371 million based on the number of games remaining once he signs his tender. Now, you might think that he is been grossly underpaid, but at the end, that doesn’t seem to be the situation. According to the official records, the New Orleans Saints have offered Brees a contract that would average $19.25 million per year. That’s not bad at all. For instance, that would turn out to be slightly more than the $19.2 million the Denver Broncos gave Peyton Manning. Then again, Brees is three years younger than Peyton Manning who has also undergone 5 neck surgeries, so you would guess that his better health might get him a little more money.
Brees is seeking an average of $20.5 million per year. It seems a bit high for the Saints management which is trying to protect the integrity of the salary cap and their roster. And yet this could go wrong: if Brees played for the franchise tender of $16.37 million this year and $23.57 million in 2013. A long-term contract seems as the most reasonable exit for the Saints so, I’m willing to guess that at the 11th hour before the deadline the two parts are going to reach an agreement.
It might be a little to soon to really tell if there’s truly something behind this new rumor, but it seems that the bad news keep on building up against the New Orleans Saints. This has been a troubled offseason for the Saints, probably it’s roughest ever. And we are talking about a team in a city that in 2005 was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. When the Saints General Manager Mick Loomis and the head coach Sean Peyton and starting quarterback Drew Brees were able to guide this team into winning a Super Bowl a couple of season ago, the squad reached it’s highest point.
But the bounty scandal took it’s first blow against the team and now, a second rumor hit’s the aura of a team that is certainly looking a little less virtuous and angelic. According to the news cable that was released earlier today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana was anonymously told Friday that the New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had an electronic device in his Superdome suite that allowed him to monitor the visiting coaching staffs for nearly three NFL seasons. Evidently the system had been secretly re-wired to his private suite in the stadium.
Sure enough, ever since then, they have been a dominant squad in their league and just last season they broke some mayor offensive NFL records, but they just couldn’t make it to the Super Bowl. Then again, the NFL eventually found the organization guilty of establishing and continuing (despite a first warning call from the league) to support a hurt-for-pay bounty program.
From there on it was up to the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell to make an example of the Saints and gave them the most sever punishment ever recorded. New Orleans’ head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for the entire next season and indefinitely banned the team’s former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, from coaching in the league. Goodell also banned Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games next season. And just to finish them off, the NFL fined the Saints $500,000 and took away their second-round draft picks for the next two years. So yes, so far, this has been one heck of a preseason for New Orleans.
The big issue here is that the Saints, or at least Loomis, as it seems that the accusations are placed upon him, could not only be facing and investigation by the NFL, but he could easily be accused of a federal crime, for inflicting with the regulations set upon the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 which explicitly prohibits any person from intercepting communications from another person using an electronic or mechanical device. According to the rumors, Loomis was able to listen to the opposite team’s conversations from 2003 all the way up to 2005, the season when the Saints had go let go of the Superdome as it first worked as a shelter and then had to undergo many repairs after the hurricane damaged the structure. It is still uncertain if an investigation is going to be opened by either the federal, state, or local government. As far as we know it’s uncertain whether the NFL is going to make theirown investigation. One thing is for sure, the rumor is out there and spreading fast.
Sometimes they say it is all about the money, that’s what makes the world go round. And it seems that the love affair between quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints couldn’t escape that fate. Despite the rumors that said Drew Brees was a certainly going to stay with the Saints, it has become evident that the two sides of the deal have failed to reach a middle point in the negotiation for the player’s compensation. Considering the risks involved in losing Drew Brees as a free agent this season, the Saints have opted to use their franchise tag on Brees and secure his stay in the club. The franchise tag for a quarterback currently carries a $14.4 million salary cap hit. Still, that figure could easily change and increase significantly later on this off-season when the quarterback cap numbers are re-evaluated by the NFL.
Brees and the New Orleans Saints seemed to be at least $5 million dollars apart when it comes to reaching a price. Particularly for the first three years of the contract. According to the news reports we have gathered, Brees is seeking a contract that averages $23 million per season for the first three years of his deal. To put things into the right perspective, that’s the same amount the Indianapolis Colts are paying Peyton Manning in contract in average for the first three seasons. The Saints on the other hands are offering their quarterback a five-year contract that averages $18 million a year. It seems to be a good overall offer considering that’s pretty much what Peyton Manning and the New England Patriot’s own Tom Brady is making over the same span.
But it seems that for the better part of the negotiation, it is Drew Brees who holds the best hand. His performance since arriving to the Saints in 2006 have been nothing short of amazing. And it’s not just that he’s been putting good numbers, excellent numbers to be more precise. As a matter of fact, the Saints have reached levels of play that seemed unimaginable just a few years before he arrived. Then there is the whole Hurricane Katrina factor. Drew Brees came into New Orleans just a year after the hurricane struck the coast of New Orleans. It has helped to give some faith to the people of New Orleans that their team, formerly known as the Aint’s (because they hadn’t win a thing) went on to unimaginable heights. Not only that but with 28,394 yards, Drew Brees has passed for more yards than any other quarterback in the NFL since he joined the squad in 2006.
Brees was the heart of the 13-3 season with which the Saints moved into the conference finals last season. As if that was not enough, 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. And that’s certainly what’s going to make him have the best hand.