An arbitrator expects to rule within a week on arguments presented Wednesday concerning the Saints' use of the NFL's franchise tag on Brees. The QB seeks clarity on whether the raise for third-time franchise players applies to his career, or only his stint with one team. Reported by the Associated Press
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 multiple times. If the arbitrator 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. ... Meanwhile, 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.