New Orleans Saints Bounties: Why Drew Brees Must Re-Sign After 2012

Justin Janssen@@JJanssen11Correspondent IIIApril 3, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before his team takes on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

When the times get tough, most people walk out. When New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees becomes a free agent in 2013, he should not be one of those people. 

In this 2012 offseason, the Saints and Brees failed to reach a contract extension, forcing the team to "franchise" the quarterback, keeping the signal-caller under team control for another season. 

How far off are they in the contract negotiations? That's anyone's guess, but Brees should allow the current team a discount.

Is a few million dollars really worth changing cities and teams? Brees is one of the larger role models in the NFL, having helped the community rebuild after the devastating hurricane. The connections, bonds and relationships with some of the most passionate football fans in the country would be tarnished if Brees walks.

More often that not, athletes appear to be in it for the money when they sign huge contracts and have already earned hundreds of millions of dollars in their careers. By re-signing with the Saints, Brees would stand above that. 

Currently, there is some instability in the Saints' organization because they have yet to hire a coach for the 2012 season in result of Roger Goodell handing out unprecedented penalties towards members of the Saints for their role in holding a bounty system over the past three years.

The short list of the consequences: Current Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the 2012 season. Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has an indefinite suspension. Saints assistant coach Joe Vitt was suspended for six games of the 2012 season. Saints GM Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight games in 2012. The Saints were fined $500,000 and lost two second-round draft picks.

NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 09: New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees #9 celebrates during the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl XLIV Victory Parade on February 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images)
Skip Bolen/Getty Images

Payton, Vitt, Loomis and the Saints organization will be appealing Goodell's decision.

Amid the uncertainty in the organization right now, Brees should take a chance on the Saints. New Orleans already took a gamble on him. In the last game of the 2005 regular season, Brees tore his labrum in his throwing shoulder, leaving NFL teams skeptical on whether he could return to form. 

New Orleans signed Brees to a six-year, $60 million deal coming off shoulder surgery. 

Brees came back just as good as before the injury, if not better..

In six seasons with the Saints, here are Brees' numbers: 62-33 regular-season record, 28,394 yards, 201 touchdowns, 98.5 QB rating, and, oh yeah, one Super Bowl ring.

Prior to Brees arriving in town, the Saints had one postseason win in their franchise's history. That spanned 40 years. Brees won a championship for one of the worst franchises in league history. 

With Marques Colston, Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham, the Saints have a team a piece or two away from returning to the Super Bowl. Throw in two of the best offensive guards in football today—Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans—both members of the 2011 Associated Press All-Pro first team, and the offense looks unstoppable.  

The Saints would be foolish to let Brees walk away. And so would Brees.