Drew Brees has been designated as a "Franchise" player again, but this time it's his third such designation. If that's the case, Brees could stand to reap millions more in his next deal -- a deal that wil affect other Franchised players. Perhaps the Saints should have acted sooner.
Ball in arbitrator's hands after hearing
An arbitrator expects to rule within a week on arguments presented
Wednesday concerning the Saints' use of the NFL's franchise tag on
quarterback Drew Brees, NFL Players Association outside counsel Jeffrey
Arbitrator Stephen Burbank, a law professor at the University of
Pennsylvania, is handling the matter of how to interpret language in
the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, which requires any club that
designates a player as a franchise player for the third time to give
that player a 44 percent raise.
Brees, once a franchise tag player with San Diego, has been designated
New Orleans' franchise player in 2012. The QB seeks clarity on whether
the raise for third-time franchise players applies to his career, or
only his stint with one team.
Burbank ''said he will have a decision within one week and we're going
to eagerly await that decision,'' Kessler said.
The ruling could affect Brees' ongoing efforts to reach a long-term
contract with the Saints, and also could set a precedent for other
players who face the prospect of being named a franchise player
If Burbank decides the 44 percent raise would kick in when Brees
receives the tag for the third time in his career, the Saints would
have to pay him more than $23 million in 2013 if they made him their
franchise player a second year in a row. However, if Burbank rules for
the NFL and the Saints, then Brees would only be due a 20 percent raise
to about $19.6 million.
Attorney Ben Block argued the case for the NFL.
The franchise tag gives NFL teams the ability to maintain exclusive
negotiating rights with one player each season. New Orleans designated
Brees, 33, its franchise player in March after the club was unable to
reach a new long-term extension with the record-setting quarterback
before his previous six-year, $60 million contract expired.
Brees and the Saints still have until July 16 to negotiate a new
long-term deal. Otherwise, Brees would have the option of signing his
franchise tender of about $16.3 million for the 2012 season. He could
also sit out, but has said this week he does not intend to do so.
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