Daily Special, May 26, 2012

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This just in: the AngryWhoDat is now also damned.

Or will be, anyway. He admits it himself. He’s even proud of it.

Well…he should be. He didn’t discover the fire, but he sniffed out the smoke before anyone. On Thursday, he posted his suspicions on Canal Street Chronicles: something screwy was up with the Drew Brees negotiations. All this delay and rancor could not possibly be a simple argument over salary levels.

And apparently, it wasn’t. This isn’t confirmed fact yet; but it’s so damn plausible—it even accounts for the reported gap between the parties—that I’m convinced we now know what’s holding up the signing party.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports broke the story. Essentially, it’s this: a franchised player is due a salary determined by a formula known to both sides, so any front office can use that number as a baseline in negotiations. And that number goes up the more the player has been franchised. But Brees’ agent, Tom Condon, is arguing that the franchise tag placed on Brees in San Diego in 2005 still counts—in other words, this is Drew’s second tag, not his first. More to the point, if the Saints tag him again next year, that would be his third, and his salary would automatically skyrocket well beyond the point that Mickey has been assuming in negotiations.

Who’s right? Ehhhhh…that’s a tough one. I don’t believe for a minute that the NFL intended to make one team’s action count against another team in future negotiations. The whole point was this: “We’ll throw this sop to the union, because we can: no team would be so boneheaded as to franchise a guy three times.” Well, no: but Brees is that rare example, an elite player with a two-team resume. Besides, all that matters is what the CBA actually states: either side is perfectly free to whine “But that’s not what we meant!”—so long as they pay up.

Bear in mind: this is all about the baseline for negotiation. The Saints aren’t necessarily planning to franchise Brees again next year; but they know they shouldn’t pay him any more than what he would make if they did. So that’s their offer. What Condon and Brees are saying is, “Look, you’re going to have to pay us under the tag more than you thought, so bump up your offer.” And that’s something the Saints are reluctant to do until someone rules on what the language in the CBA actually means.

One thing that’s not clear: who decides? Cole has this to say:

The issue then comes down to interpreting the language of the CBA. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello would not clarify how the NFL Management Council views the situation. If the council interprets Brees’ franchise tag with the Chargers not being governed by the current CBA, the union would have to prove otherwise.

Prove to whom? Would they appeal to the commissioner? Argue before a mediator? Take it to court? Just how long is this going to go on?

Me, I’m convinced the ultimate goal here is the elimination of the franchise tag. The players hate it; Drew Brees, in particular, hates it (having been injured and forced from San Diego while playing under the tag instead of a long-term contract), and tried to get himself exempted during the course of the players’ suit during last season’s lockout. That ploy didn’t work; but making the tag too expensive to use might be a winning strategy. Eventually, the NFL will just give up and stop using it. Maybe. It’s worth a shot, anyway…especially if there’s several million dollars in it for Brees personally.

And frankly, I’m beginning to change my view that Brees will have to eventually give in and sign the tender. I mean, he’ll be 33 years old, his window is closing, and this is $16 million, after all. If he sits out, he gets nothing, and loses a year…and let’s face it: career-wise, Drew is on the downslope (I mean in time, not in skill). He gains nothing by not coming back, and loses a lot.

But he’s also a stand-up guy. He’s said all along he would not sign the tender…and now, maybe, we know why. It’s because he’s trying to drive a stake through the heart of the franchise tag. To Brees, this may be more important than a salary that you or I might literally kill for—even more important than another Lombardi, which I know you and I would literally kill for. He may see it as his legacy, his gift to the brotherhood of NFL players. And if that’s the case, he won’t budge. He really will sit out. That sound you just heard was either my ass puckering, or yours.

Posted by Himself in Daily Specials | 22 comments

22 Comments

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  • Saint-SlyMay 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

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    Well, I’ll be damned…………You either didn’t want me here and you don’t like me or I just wasnt paying attention. Anyway, hello everyone. You can’t hide from me. I am now a member and you need me to add color and contoversy with my “Outside the box’ MENTALITY. M.E. Or Himself, I like it but I just wished I had been invited. Just wait and see the shit I stur up for making me hunt you down.
    Shall I start by saying……….See you next year Drew.(Maybe)

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    • HimselfMay 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

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      Don’t feel bad…there really weren’t any “invitations,” just a notice at CSC. I guess you missed it, being too busy getting damned and all. You and AngryWhoDat.

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    • HansDatMay 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

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      Hi, Sly!! Not to speak out of turn, but I’m sure you are quite welcome here – nothing to hide at all…

      What are ya drinkin’ today?

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      • Saint-SlyMay 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm

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        Ice tea only………Too damn hot for Beer on an empty stomach. I’ll turn it up a notch later on this evening though.

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  • SaintsW1nMay 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

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    If Brees did take to the extreme of sitting out the season? Though highly unlikely, beyond the obviously devastating affect it would have, it would also be amazingly entertaining.

    But I agree with you that it seems like it’s a possibility now, although remote.

    I mean, in terms of Saints’ lore and adding a wicked swatch to the fabric of an already surreal 2012, it would be awesome in a grotesque (distorted) way.

    At least the Saints are interesting and entertaining and all that.

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  • SaintsW1nMay 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

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    And here’s some worthy jukeboxing for a Saturday morning.

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  • Saint-SlyMay 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm

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    I’ll better all of you……….check it out and save to your favorites. All your old dateing songs that brings back memories……

    http://tropicalglen.com/

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  • Breesus Christ SuperstarMay 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm

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    ” I mean, he’ll be 33 years old, his window is closing, and this is $16 million, after all. If he sits out, he gets nothing, and loses a year…and let’s face it: career-wise, Drew is on the downslope (I mean in time, not in skill). He gains nothing by not coming back, and loses a lot.”

    Which is precisely why he will accept a long term deal. Too much to lose.
    What’s the upside? $3 mil more? It would take him 7 years to make up for 1 year lost wages. He aint got seven more years in the tank and he won’t be getting as high an offer next year after sitting on his ass. Forget the ‘sticking it to the tag’ angle. The franchise tag will still exist under the current CBA. He happens to be in a truly unique tag situation that isn’t applicable to 99% of the league. Furthermore, a decision won’t be made on the wordplay in question until past his signing deadline, and even then the ruling likely will not be in his favor. So then what? He’ll be sitting around with his dick in his hand, $20 million lighter in the wallet, a year older, his wife bitching at him for being so stupid, and forever tainted in the eyes of a once adoring fan base.

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    • SaintsW1nMay 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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      I only speak for myself but if Brees sat out for the season, it wouldn’t alter my opinion of him.

      I do agree that the most likely scenario is that he’ll ultimately sign whatever long-term offer is on the table as July 16 approaches.

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  • PhilistineMay 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm

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    How much do any of you want to bet that Tom Condon or one of his evil minions fed Jason Coles this story?

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  • The Angry Who DatMay 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

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    How much does Brees really need the extra 3 million? Or the entire 16-19, for that matter? Dude’s already filthy rich.

    But being the guy that killed the multiple franchise tag, that’s priceless.

    Legacy, people. He’s a union guy. I would not be shocked at this point to see him sit it out.

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    • Breesus Christ SuperstarMay 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm

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      How would it kill the tag?
      It would only kill three times tagged. Which is basically already dead. The rules stay the same. The question is whether or not this is his second tag.
      You would be surprised how many filthy rich people can’t go a year without thier salary.

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      • HimselfMay 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm

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        By making the tag more expensive to apply, it will force teams to think more than twice about applying it. For instance: you can acquire a top-notch player in a trade, but he’s already been tagged. If you know that tag can eventually count against you, it might make the deal seem too expensive.

        Which means, actually, that it will hurt players in the long run. I didn’t say I agree with Brees’ strategy…if that’s indeed what he’s thinking.

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  • HansDatMay 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm

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    Drew Brees, Vampire Franchise Tag Hunter

    new movie poster photoshop idea for Kevin Held…

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    • HimselfMay 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

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      Hey, what am I? Chopped liver?

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  • HansDatMay 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm

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    As we’re a social club, can we march @ Carnival next year? I’d pay some dues for that…

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