By Josh Kramer
For the first time in a long time, there is some good news for Saints’ fans. After what has been the most tumultuous off-season in franchise history, a deal has been made. The franchise player has been signed, sealed, and delivered. Now there is assurance that there will be a “Cool Brees” in New Orleans for at least another five years. Any NFL team feeling sorry for themselves this off-season should be thankful that they are not the Saints. Things have been that bad. Until yesterday of course.
The general manager (Mickey Loomis) is out for half of the season. The head coach (Sean Payton is done for the year. The interim head coach (and assistant head coach) (Joe Vitt) is out six games.. The former defensive-coordinator (Gregg Williams) is out of football. Key players (Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith) are suspended. Draft picks have been lost. Fines have been issued. But at least now, the most important part of the franchise is ready to go to work. Drew Brees is not only one of the elite players on-the-field, he is also one of the best players off-the-field. I cannot think of someone more deserving of the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history.
A record-breaking deal for a record-breaking player. Do the math. Brees completed an astonishing 468 passes for an NFL record 5,476 yards in 2011. Also, his completion percentage was as precise as they come at 71.2% (nearly 3% higher than any other NFL QB last year). Take note that Brees has led the NFL in completed passes (2,488), yards (28,394), touchdown passes (201), and completion percentage over the course of the past six seasons. Consistency and winning equals cha-ching in this day and age.
Brees is one of those players that regardless of your fan allegiance, you have to respect. He is supremely talented, the consummate winner, a great sport, and from what I can tell, a standout citizen. Drew Brees is as big in New Orleans as Derek Jeter is in New York. He is the city’s favorite son.
Now that the favorite son is committed for at least the next five years, New Orleans is a guaranteed playoff contender for at least the next half-decade. After nearly suffocating through this horrific off-season, Who Dat Nation can now breathe again.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.