The seemingly never ending story is over. ESPN's NFL reporter Chris Mortensen is reporting Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have reached a deal before the July 16 3p.m. deadline.
Mortensen reports the deal is five years worth $100 million. First year is worth $40 million and Brees will earn $61 million in first three years of the deal with $60 million being guaranteed.
The $60 million guaranteed to Brees is the largest guarantee in NFL history. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio also has confirmed the numbers, adding that there are $22 million more in “rolling” guarantees as the contract unfolds.
Finally, one of the Saints offseason sagas is over. Now if that pesky "Bounty Gate" will ever end.
More details on the Brees deal:
Drew Brees becomes the NFL's first $20 million man.
Now that the new deal is in place, Brees' cap number will drop next season from $16.37 million to $10.4 million. The cap number for the record setting quarterback will be $17.4 million (2013), $18.4 million (2014), $26.4 million (2015), $27.4 million (2016).
It is important to note that in 2015 the new TV deal kicks in which is why the number jumps so high from 2014. Another important detail, although highly unlikely, on the third day of the wavier wire (normally the third day after the Super Bowl) in 2015 and 2016, Brees will be guaranteed more than half his $19 million base salary (2015) and again more than half his $20 million base salary (2016).
The unlikely part is the Saints must cut the quarterback before the third day of the waiver wire or the club is on the hook for the full guaranteed money. This would allow Brees more time to find a new team if the Saints decide to cut him. Again, highly unlikely as long as the quarterback is playing at a high level but if it does, Brees would hit the market before free agency begins in 2015 or 2016.
Brees will receive a $37 million signing bonus (paid out over the next six months) and a base salary of $3 million this season (2012). Because of the new deal, New Orleans gains $6 million in salary cap space for this season.
The team also announced that Drew will available in a press conference on July 24 at Saints Camp in Metairie. The time is to be determined.