NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As I observed Drew Brees surgically pick apart the Jacksonville Jaguars basically on one healthy foot Sunday, I couldn't help but think about the pre-game report about his future with the organization.
Splash reports are a regular part of the new-age media cycle. We've been accustomed to seeing them quite often in this Saints regime. We just haven't seen one so pointed and frankly, so disrespectful to the franchise's greatest player.
Ian Rapaport of the NFL Network tweeted:
The Saints will deny this came from them. But we know better. Someone in the organization sent this out to send a message. But what message are they trying to convey?
It's not totally unreasonable to suggest Brees trim his average per year salary in any new extension he signs with the club. Peyton Manning adjusted his salary before this season in Denver. Though, I think it's obvious Brees and Manning physically are not one in the same. Manning looks finished. Brees does not.
However, maybe I'm crazy but it seems the best way to get a hometown discount from the best player to ever wear a Saints uniform is not by demanding one through a national reporter. That kind of request should come behind closed doors where sentimentality can be appreciated.
That would have been bad enough, but then came the second tweet. The team is reportedly upset that Brees' contract is the reason that they've had depth issues? That seems incredibly presumptuous.
Brees does carry a big financial commitment at $20 million a season. It's high, but it is the going rate for franchise quarterbacks in the NFL. Spending that kind of money at one position requires a team to spend their other funds wisely on free agents. Plus, they MUST draft well.
This is where the Saints have failed. Miserably.
Signing Brees to that 5-year, $100 million contract is not the problem. Spending precious remaining dollars on players like Junior Galette, Brandon Browner, Jairus Byrd and C.J. Spiller is. Plus, they've completely struck out in not one, but two drafts. Only Brandin Cooks remains from the 2012 and 2014 draft classes.
When you combine bad free agent spending with disastrous draft choices, catastrophe usually ensues. The Saints have indeed suffered from it, but have avoided completely bottoming out because of one player-- Drew Brees. Look no further than their victory Sunday vs. Jacksonville as the latest example.
At the end of the day, business is business. And everyone knows that a $30 million cap hit is way too high for the Saints in 2016. Something will have to be done to get it reduced. There are options available that would be beneficial for both sides.
Sunday morning's leak was not one of them.