Drew Brees reportedly to demand less than Jimmy Garoppolo on new deal

By Vincent Frank

The New Orleans Saints and future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees will have to work out a new contract before the start of free agency. Should that not happen, Brees will become an unrestricted free agent next month.

There’s no expectation that Brees will move on to another team. Both the Saints’ brass and the quarterback himself have said he’ll return next season.

Now, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Brees and the Saints are expected to talk about a short-term deal during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis next week. More than that, the Pro Bowler is expected to demand between $20 and $25 million annually, a number that would come in lower than what Jimmy Garoppolo received from the San Francisco 49ers earlier in the month.

“Is Brees going to break the bank as he did previously? Probably not,” Rapoport reported. “I know the Saints certainly do not see him eclipsing even really what he had last time. … It’s really about finding the sweet spot somewhere in the low-to-mid twenties to extend him, but yeah, he is going to be their quarterback.”

Garoppolo received $27.5 million per season on the most-lucrative contract ever signed by an NFL player after just seven career starts. Some had concluded that Brees would want to top that. Now, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

With less than $40 million in cap room, this is big news for a Saints team that surprised the masses by winning the NFC South last season. Depending on how Brees’ contract is structured and other roster moves, this could enable New Orleans to add key free agents to an evolving roster.