New Orleans Saints Reportedly Place Franchise Tag on QB Drew Brees

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIMarch 3, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks to pass from the pocket against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 36-32.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

In a less-than-surprising move, the New Orleans Saints have put the franchise tag on quarterback Drew Brees. This was reported by NFL Insider Jay Glazer

On the news side, was just told the Saints have placed the franchise tag on QB Drew Brees.

— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 3, 2012

Brees set the single season passing record in 2010, throwing for 5,476 yards. He led the Saints to a 13-3 record. In his six years in New Orleans, Brees has taken the Saints to four playoff appearances, including winning Super Bowl XLIV, where he was the MVP. 

What It Means

There wasn't much of a chance that Brees was going to leave the Saints to begin with. This move only cements the fact that he'll be back with the Saints.

Unfortunately for New Orleans, this move would make it very hard for them to bring back some of their other free agents, as he'll make a lot of money and the Saints won't be able to structure it in a cap-friendly way. 

Fortunately for the Saints, there is time to negotiate an actual long-term contract with Brees. That is a must, as if the franchise tag is kept on Brees, this will be a much different team next year.



What's Next?

According to the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, the two sides are headed back to the table.

Ultimately, what the tag does is buy the sides til July 15 to get a long-term deal done, which is the goal.

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 3, 2012

The Saints need flexibility with this contract, and making someone like Brees the "Franchise Player" gives them absolutely none of that. 

If they choose to not negotiate with Brees, he will still return to New Orleans in 2012, although the status of other key players like Marques Colston and Carl Nicks is still very much up in the air.