Arbitrator Stephen Burbank has sided with Saints’ QB Drew Brees in a dispute over how much New Orleans would have to pay him if they applied the franchise tag again in 2013.
The Saints have already used the tag on Brees for 2012. As a result, Brees can’t negotiate with another team and it is possible he could end up with a one-year, $16.3 million deal.
If Brees is tagged by the Saints again in 2013 he would be entitled to a 44 percent raise to more than $23 million. The NFL had argued he would only be eligible for a 20 percent raise.
Following Tuesday’s decision, the NFLPA released a statement saying it is “very pleased that that the arbitrator agreed with the NFLPA that the correct interpretation of the ‘third time’ Franchise Player designation in the CBA applies across clubs, and a player’s rights will not be unfairly hindered if different clubs designate him as a Franchise Player during his career. This ruling will help all Franchise Players in the future.”
The statement concluded with the following message, “We are very happy that Drew Brees has clarification on this matter, and we hope that it facilitates a successful negotiation for Drew and the Saints.”
Brees and the Saints have until July 16 to finalize a new long-term deal.