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NFL: Does Drew Brees Deserve a Record Breaking Contract?

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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Michael GuadalupeFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2012

With the recent report that Drew Brees is being offered a record-breaking contract which could be anywhere from $19.2 million to $20 million per season for five years, we have to ask ourselves if Brees really deserves that much.

The answer could be much more complicated than just yes or no.

Getting Brees to sign a long-term deal at this point should be a top priority for the New Orleans Saints. Even if the whole bounty scandal never happened, Brees is a staple of the Saints, and an icon in the town of New Orleans.

Now add in the whole bounty scandal and you have to wonder why the Saints were dragging their feet for so long if they are now willing to offer Brees so much money.

Could you imagine what the Saints would be like if they went into the regular season or even preseason without re-signing Brees?  Yes, Brees would have been obligated to play out the year under the franchise tag, but not having their leader fully on board would have devastated an already broken team.

Yes, the Saints should have been willing to pay Brees whatever money he wanted to get him to re-sign after the bounty scandal shook up the team.

Putting the scandal aside, though, Brees could easily be considered worth the money he was asking for.  Statistically, he was one of the most dominant quarterbacks last year.

Brees was first in the NFL with touchdowns with 46, had the highest completion percentage of 71.2, and was first in the NFL in yards with 5,476 last season.

Not only did Brees have arguably the most dominate season of any starting quarterback, he also won the Saints their first Super Bowl in 2009.

It's also much more than just how good Brees is at quarterback.  You have to respect a man who helps rebuild the city that he plays for.  The Brees Dream Foundation along with the Saints' QB and his wife have donated more than $11 million dollars to charitable causes.

If Brees were to sign this new contract, he would be getting paid more than any current quarterback in the NFL, more than Tom Brady, who signed a five-year, $78.5 million contract in 2010, and Peyton Manning who signed a five-year $96 million deal with the Broncos.

At the same time though, does any quarterback deserve $20 million a year?  Even though Brees set records last year, the Saints still couldn't overcome the San Francisco 49ers during the playoffs.

Let’s not forget that the year previous the Saints lost to the Seahawks, who had the worst record ever, 7-9, of a team entering the playoffs.

And even while the Saints clearly needed to get Brees signed before entering the next season, without head coach Sean Payton, will he be able to perform at the same level?

Paying Brees $20 million and taking a chance on a team that could be done after the whole bounty scandal could seem like a stretch.

Would it also be a risk to pay Brees such a large sum when the Saints know he suffered a shoulder injury in the past?  How much would it take for Brees to re-injure that shoulder?

There is also the rumor Brees knew about the bounty scandal.  Would it change people's opinions about the quarterback if they found out he knew about the scandal, while openly saying he knew nothing of it?

Would that ruin his image, and make him worth less than what is reportedly being offered?

In the end, everything besides football should be put aside.  Yes, we could argue the work Brees does outside of football could play a part in how much he should get paid.  Or if Brees ends up knowing more about the bounty scandal than he admitted, he wouldn’t be worth such a big contract.

Would signing Brees help the Saints when the regular season starts?  You could always argue for or against it.

Regardless of those arguments, Brees is a quarterback and should get paid based on how well he has played in the past.  Would you consider Brees the top quarterback in the league?  If he signs his reported new offer, he will be getting paid like that.

Is Drew Brees worth $20 million a year?  Comment below and share your opinion.

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