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Brees hits free agency

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2572">Chargers.com</a>
    By Casey Pearce

    <img width="157" height="204" align="left" title="Drew Brees" alt="Drew Brees" src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/brees07.jpg" />Although it appears that quarterback Drew Brees is resigned to leave the team that drafted him five years ago, it's not because the Chargers don't want him.

    "Like I've said all along, we want all three quarterback's from last year's team to return," General Manager A.J. Smith said. "We want Drew to be here. To this point we've yet to reach an agreement on what we think is a fair offer."

    "It's a business – not just for us but for him. Drew is making a business decision. He says he wants to be a Charger. Let's cut to the chase – you want to be a Charger if we pay you enough money. I understand. To me, that sounds like a businessman."

    At this point, it is still uncertain as to when Brees will be able to resume throwing. In January, he underwent an operation to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Brees appears to be making progress, and the team has offered to take a chance on his health.

    "Despite some serious injury concerns, we've put a lot of money out there for him and we're willing to take the risk," Smith said. "Only time will tell how he'll perform in the future. We're trying to do what's best for our football team."

    The potential total value of the Chargers' contract proposal is $50 million over six years.

    "We feel like we've offered him a fair contract, but he doesn't like that offer," Smith said. "We have a value on our players and contracts, and they have a value on it. When you see eye to eye, a deal gets done. When you don't, you move on."

    The offer that is currently on the table enables Brees to reach the financial numbers that he's looking for. However, the majority of the money in the first year comes in the form of incentives, and Brees would prefer it be guaranteed. The deal includes $2 million up front with the opportunity to earn as much as $8 million more this season should he take 75 percent of the team's snaps.

    "With the offer, if Drew starts and plays like he has, he will make the money he wants," Smith said. "He would prefer that the money be given up front. We don't think that's the best business decision for the Chargers."

    On Friday, Brees stated during an interview that the Chargers had withdrawn part of the incentives from the deal. Vice President of Football Operations Ed McGuire said that the information was inaccurate.

    "I personally called Drew Friday and asked him where he'd heard that we removed incentives," McGuire said. "He said his agent told him that. It's not true."

    At the time McGuire spoke with Brees' agent, Tom Condon, about the deal, the league had yet to extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement, meaning that the "30 percent rule" was in effect. The rule states that any contract that extends into an uncapped year limits the increase of a player's base salary to 30 percent a year. Had the Chargers removed the incentives offer, the deal would have been illegal under the terms of the CBA at that point.

    "Specifically, since our offer contained a $10 million (salary cap) charge this year because the play-time incentive would count as ‘likely to be earned', I told Tom that if we had a lot of action in free agency that we may have to modify how the incentive was written," McGuire said. "That's a lot different than to say that we removed the incentives."

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