Quarterback Drew Brees reached a long-awaited contract extension with the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, just four days before a Week 1 kickoff against the Oakland Raiders and a self-imposed deadline.
Functionally, it’s a one-year, $24.25 million extension for Brees. Brees was due $20 million in 2016 on the last year of his old deal, so he’ll now make $44.25 million over two seasons, all fully guaranteed.
Technically, it’s a new five-year deal, but it automatically voids after the 2017 season. A full breakdown wasn’t immediately available, but that structure likely means Brees received a large signing bonus, which can be spread out for cap purposes over a longer span and lower his monster $30 million cap number this season.
Brees confirmed there was a no-trade clause in his deal.
“I am humbled and honored and have been since the first day that I stepped foot in here as a New Orleans Saint,” Brees said at a news conference Wednesday.
“It’s been an incredible journey, but I hope to continue that journey for quite a bit longer.”
The 37-year-old Brees was entering the final year of his contract and was set to count $30 million against the Saints’ salary cap this season, which would have given him the highest cap hold of any player in the league. He said throughout the summer he would not continue negotiations into the regular season.
Having led the Saints to their lone Super Bowl in the 2009 season, Brees stands as the most decorated player in franchise history. The nine-time Pro Bowl selection ranks fourth in career passing yards (60,903) and is tied with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for third in passing touchdowns (428).
Since Brees and coach Sean Payton’s arrival in 2006, the Saints have made the playoffs five times. New Orleans had just one postseason berth in the 13 years prior.