Jan 14, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) warms up before the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. San Francisco defeated New Orleans 36-32. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

New Orleans Saints: Court, The Cap, And A Contract

New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma is not taking his suspension lying down.

He has challenged Goodell’s authority to rule on the matter, brought forth a defamation suit, and filed for an injunction to block his suspension.

Up to this point he was the only member of the “condemned four” — Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita, and Tony Hargrove — to challenge Roger Goodell and the NFL in a court of law.

That is until now.

Fujita, Smith, and Hargrove have jointly filed a lawsuit, very similar to Vilma’s, stating that Goodell unfairly judged the group while refusing to show them the “evidence” the NFL collected against them.

Essentially the players contest that Goodell violated the CBA by “smearing” there names in the media, while painting the men as guilty before any official hearing.

The NFL may have stubbornly refused to let the players named see any of the evidence because the evidence against them is circumstantial at best.

In fact the authenticity of some of the documents, as well as audio evidence of Hargrove saying “Give me my money” after finding out Brett Favre was injured, has been discredited.

Goodell himself has said some of the evidence is likely fake, and that he has no way of proving otherwise.

For now the four players remain suspended while facing a lengthy up-hill battle that will still likely not end in their favor.

To no one’s surprise, the New Orleans Saints have the least amount of cap space in the NFC South at meager $2.16 million.

That number makes it immediately more impressive that the Saints were able to go out in free agency and sign Brodrick Bunkley, Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne, and Chris Chamberlain.

New Orleans also has all their rookies signed, with exception to fourth round pick wide receiver Nick Toon.

But fans are still concerned with Drew Brees new contract, even though the current cap number included a projected salary of close to $16-million for him already.

The Saints and Drew Brees have until the leagues deadline of July 16th to reach a new agreement, or he will be forced to play under the franchise tag.

Brees would then be guranteed a $16.4-million dollar salary in 2012.

That number would appear to be more in the Saints favor, but appearances can be deceiving.

Brees recently won a hearing for the right to be called a double franchise tag player, having already been tagged by the San Diego Chargers in 2005.

What that meas for the Saints is that if they were to franchise him again after this season, Brees would be due a whopping 144% pay increase as three-time tagged player.

In that case Brees could potentially make $25-million guaranteed for the 2013 season.

However multiple reports have surfaced that indicate the Saints have an offer of $19 to $20 million dollars on the table for Brees, a contract that would make him the highest paid player ever in the NFL.

The deal is said to be for five-years and clearly worth over $100 million.

News of this new deal has sparked the rumor that Brees is tantalizingly close to signing, which still begs the questions of just where the Saints are getting the money.

The reality is no one cares, as long as he gets signed in time for training camp, fans surely aren’t worried about the origin of the money.

New Orleans is without head coach Sean Payton, who was suspended for one-year as a “bounty” penalty.

Getting Drew Brees back is huge for this team and instantly makes the competitive once again for the NFC South crown as well as a fourth consecutive play-off appearance.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Salary Cap Bounty Gate Drew Brees Jonathan Vilma New Orleans Saints NFL Nick Toon Roger Goodell Scott Fujita The Saints Tony Hargrove Will Smith

  • larryjames836

    They will get him signed I hope Brees is not focusing on the money. I hope he has and ideal for next season because several more guys are coming up for free agent. And the New Orleans Saints are going to need more money in cap space the New Orleans Saints has been blessed so far. Out of all they been through they are still standing through all of negative talk and scandals that been put on them and still the NFL has no prove. Roger Goodell saying he believe some of the evidences or fake but still don’t want to face the truth. A lie is not going to stand against right, my hat goes off to Vilma and the others who are standing up for their rights win are loss my hat still goes off for these guys.

  • JoePetitjean

    He wants 20.5 mill 

  • larryjames836

    @JoePetitjean; 20.5 not bad I think Brees should negotiate with the Saints they offer him 19.371 million he should be able to agree on that amount and charge the Saints for the other amount later he can do that right. Do you think he will sign and play are set the season out I hope not but if he do its all about the money we need this Super Bowl win to close some mouths from talking. And show Roger Goodell and the others we don’t need to cheat to win a Super Bowl.

  • JoePetitjean

     @larryjames836  He sign might not be what he wants but closer to 19.5. Roger, needed a scapegoat and that was the Saints. 

  • larryjames836

    @JoePetitjean; Mickey Loomis will make something happen he good at that. Drew Brees need to stay with the offensive team he know that will protect him they took care of him from 2006-2011 so what’s the problem.

  • larryjames836

    I never knew to much about Chase Daniel can he stand under pressure. They say he’s the second Drew Brees they say he pretty good how is he.

  • JoePetitjean

     @larryjames836  They say they could be twins 

  • JoePetitjean

     @larryjames836  They will get him sign in the 11th hour 

  • JoePetitjean

    Way to go Saints and Brees and Co. for getting this deal done for 5 years worth 100 mill,he get 20 mill per year with 40 mill this year and 60 over the last 4. This is welcome news to Who Dat Nation!!!

  • larryjames836

    @JoePetitjean; What the Hell Goodell trying to do I was just reading in canal street chronicles were they trying to suspend Drew Brees 4 games. Check into that and hallow back at me, they trying to keep us out the Super Bowl.

  • JoePetitjean

     @larryjames836 I will