You swoon, I swoon. We all swoon. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
Oh, I get a kick out of tricking people with my quarterback name laden titles. This is not going to be about comparing Drew Brees and Philip Rivers based on numbers or rings or anything of that sort. This relates to the current situation the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees are in regarding the record breaking QB's contract. According to this article, sources told ESPN report Adam Shefter that Brees and the Saints are more than $5 million apart in their negotiations. Brees is seeking $23 million per year in the first 3 years of the deal and the Saints are offering $18 million. The stalemate may force the Saints to use their franchise tag on their team captain even though they have two other premier free agents in Marques Colston and Carl Nicks who would also merit the tag. It's a sticky, messy situation.
Compare that to a couple years ago with Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. There was a fair amount of hushed nervousness as Rivers' rookie contract got closer to its completion. However in August of 2009, just before the final season of that deal kicked off, the news broke that the team had reached an agreement with the star QB. The total value came to 7 years, $98.25 million. $38.15 million were guaranteed. $19.55 million went straight to El Capitan's pocket as a signing bonus. For comparison, Rivers' contract put in place an average of $15.5 million per year for the first 3 years.
The Chargers dealt with the Rivers contract situation as best as you can in this era of the NFL. The discussions were not played out in the media, it didn't come down to some contentious use of a franchise tag and when details of the deal came out both sides were quite happy with the outcome. The Chargers have a habit of handling business this way for players that are the cornerstones of the franchise. LaDainian Tomlinson was smoothly made the highest paid RB in the NFL back in 2004. The same goes for Antonio Gates becoming the highest paid TE in 2010. Sure, others have gone through more tumultuous contract talks with A.J. Smith and Ed McGuire, but those were discussions where the team had a little more wiggle room. Certain players are ones that the team needs more than the player needs them. With those guys, there should be no messing around. The Saints seem to be struggling with that.