When combined with the $20 million he was scheduled to make in 2016, it’s realistically a one-year extension worth an additional $24.5 million. The deal reportedly also includes a no-trade clause and wording that doesn’t allow the Saints to use their franchise tag on Brees in 2018.
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But Brees said at a news conference Wednesday that the length of the extension does not mean he’s close to hanging up his cleats.
“I plan to play for longer than 2 years, so yeah," Brees said. "My mindset going into this was to be able to secure a deal that would take me for as long as I plan on playing, but this was what was in the best interest of the team, so that’s why it was a two-year deal."
Brees, who had one year left on the five-year, $100 million deal he signed in 2012, said the new deal “was in the best interest of the team.” The complicated construction of the extension gives the Saints more cap relief. If New Orleans placed the franchise tag on Brees in 2017, the cap hit would have been $43.2 million, according to NFL.com.
Brees hasn’t lost a step despite creeping closer to 40. He has led the league in passing yards the past two years and has eclipsed the 5,000-yard passing mark four times during his illustrious career.
During his 10-year stint in New Orleans, he’s averaged more than 4,800 yards and 35 touchdowns a season. His passing yard total (48,555) is the most by any quarterback in a 10-year span in NFL history.