After a lengthy and public negotiations, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees finally agreed with the team on a new long-term contract. The Saints were prepared to play the 2012 season with Brees under the Franchise Tag, which would have paid him the hefty sum of over $17 million for the year.
However, both sides hoped to avoid that and agreed on a big deal that will give him that security and guaranteed money and settles the issue of keeping him in New Orleans for the rest of his career. Combined with his head coach being suspended for the season, Brees also brings a coach's mentality with him onto the field.
According to a story on SB Nation, Brees' deal is for five-years and $100 million, with $60 million guaranteed. The deal makes Brees the highest paid player in the entire league. You can be sure that Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco and his agent have been monitoring the proceedings and are extremely happy for both Brees and their bargaining position.
Should Flacco get anywhere close to this type of deal is an extremely doubtful proposition. However, the bar has definitely been raised financially. To see Flacco get a five year, $75 million deal is no longer out of the question. Flacco is in the final year of his rookie deal but should have a new deal in place before it expires.
In the meantime, RB Ray Rice is anxious to get rid of his Franchise Tag but must do so by Monday in order to not play the 2012 season under the tag and "settle" for only $7.7 million. However, do not expect anything to happen with Rice's deal until Flacco agrees to a new one first.
Once Flacco signs, the future pieces of the Ravens will fall into place, including not just Rice's new deal (or not), but Ed Reed's and others as well. In the meantime, Brees is happy, the Saints are happy, and Joe knows he will soon be happy too.