Last Hope: Drew Brees gets the franchise tag
Do you honestly believe that Drew Brees is worth $43 million for one year? That’s the estimated charge if the Saints were to flirt with the idea of using the franchise tag for him. You may say that you can’t put a price tag on Brees’ value, but let’s look at why this isn’t the best course of action.
The Saints already have an estimated $127 million tied up in 2017’s salary cap, and tagging Brees will easily put them over the edge at a projected $170 million. Yes, the league’s salary cap has consistently seen increases. From 2014 to 2015, the cap shot up nearly $12 million to be $155.3 million for all teams. However, here’s the problem with this.
Max Unger, Nick Fairley, and Tim Lelito are just a handful of the team’s big list of unrestricted free agents after 2016. Franchise tagging Brees would essentially cripple the Saints from re-signing some priority players, and absolutely limit their ability to add new faces. Now, there are going to be some big decisions to be made by the team to help with the cap like Jairus Byrd’s future, what to do with Keenan Lewis, and how to attack a long-term deal for Kenny Vaccaro. Obviously, there could be some shifting around with the cap like we’re accustomed to seeing, but the bottom line is that this would be a desperate and extreme move to keep Brees around for one more season.
Next: The worst-case scenario