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Kristian Garic

Saints Sideline Reporter

"Double Coverage" Co-Host
Weekdays 6am-9am on 3WL 1350-AM

Twitter: @kristiangaric1
Email: kristian@3wl1350.com
Posts from February 2013


Kristian: Brees is ''willing to consider'' restructuring contract
In the wake of Tom Brady restructuring his contract to save the New England Patriots salary cap space and remain competitive, Saints fans have been wondering if Drew Brees would be willing to do something similiar to help out the Black and Gold.

I asked Drew today, "Since word of Brady restructuring his deal to save the Pats cap room, fans have been asking if you might be willing to do something similar?"

Brees responded via text, "I am always willing to consider anything that will help the team or the cap situation."  

The Saints are cash-strapped trying to get under the $121 million salary cap on or before the new league year begins on March 12th.  

Brees signed a record-breaking 5 year $100 million contract in the summer of last year.  Brees' salary cap figure is $17.4 million for the 2013 season, and escalates rapidly in the following seasons.  In 2014 it rises to $18.4 million, and in 2015 it skyrockets to $26.4 million, then to $27.4 million in 2016.  

So, do I think he will do it?  Well, Brees has never been a selfish player, and is driven to win.  His legacy has been about winning and getting back to the Super Bowl, not necessarly about his money.  If he should restructure his deal, he would not be giving up anything now or in the long-term.  We'll find out what happens in the next two weeks.
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Kristian: Restructure Brees? Not so simple, and awfully risky
Should the Saints restructure Drew Brees' contract?  No.

With the help of our Saints Radio Statistician Brian Duvall, we explored the idea of restructuring Brees' deal to provide the Saints with some much needed salary cap relief.  Brees' cap figure for the 2013 season is $17.4 million, meaning that's how much of his pay the Saints have to include when calculating how much he counts against the approximately $120 million cap for NFL teams. 

The Saints are roughly 10 million dollars over cap.  The deadline to get under the salary cap is March 12th, the start of free agency and the new league year. 

The Saints are reportedly trying to restructure contracts for defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma.  While those moves would provide some relief, it's not going to fix the cap situation the Saints are in now.  On the surface it looks as though a restructure of Brees' contract would do wonders for the Saints. 

Not so fast! 

The Saints could convert $8.8 million of his $9.75 million base salary for 2013 to guaranteed pay out... making his 2013 salary at the 10 year plus veteran minimum of $940k. That move would drop the cap number by $6.6 million.  Pretty nice right?  Wait, there is a significant catch. 

The $8.8 million would then be spread out over the remaining 4 years of the contract, making his 2014 cap hit an eye popping $20.6 million.  In 2015 it would balloon to $28.6 million, and in the final year (2016) his cap figure would be $29.6 million.  Each year it grows by 2.2 million for a guaranteed pay out.  Under this scenario Brees would not lose any money, but it could increase the chances of him getting... yes ... released... gasp!  See where I am going here?  The Saints are pretty much stuck with that record breaking deal of a year ago.

The salary cap is not expected to expand robustly until 2015, when new TV contracts kick in from the new CBA.   If the Saints restructured Brees' deal as proposed in this scenario, he would account for 30% of cap space for the next 2 years.  OUCH!  That is if they restructure his 2013 base salary.  Furthermore, if the Saints restructure Brees' 2013 base salary, and convert it to guaranteed payment, it would very likely increase the chance Brees would NOT finish his career in a Saints uniform. Ultimately this would alter the course of the Saints for the next four years. 

So the question now becomes: Get rid of Smith and Vilma if they don't restructure?

Yes. 

Safety Roman Harper carries a hefty price tag at $7.1 million for 2013.  The high profile veteran is likely on his way out the door without restructuring the Brees contract.  It's either that or you say good-bye to Brees in 2 years when he's 36 and has a cap hit of 28.6 million in 2015. 

You see? 

The Saints pretty much have no choice but to absorb the 17.4 million price tag for Brees.  It doesn't look like a restructure is likely. 

What's the Saints best move at this point? 

Don't even touch the Brees contract.  I'm not the numbers guy that Mickey Loomis is, I'm not trained in that field, but I'm sure he'll find a way to make it work. 

However, from this radio guys chair it doesn't look like the Saints can get relief from a reworked Brees deal. 

I would like to again thank Brian Duvall (Saints Radio Statistician) for contributing to this report.
 


 
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Saints cut Thomas and Patrick
The Saints continue to make some roster moves, today parting ways with tight end David Thomas and defensive back Johnny Patrick.  

Thomas, a seven year NFL veteran, joined the Saints in training camp of the 2009 season via a trade with the New England Patriots.  

Click here to see Thomas' stats...

The Saints drafted Patrick in the third round out of Louisville in 2011.  

Click here for Patrick's stats...

The Saints are maneuvering to get under the 2013 salary cap of 121 million by March 12th.  
 
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Locations: Louisville
People: David ThomasJohnny PatrickThomas




 
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