By Bobby Pollier, EnStarz | Jul 13, 2012 04:48 PM EDT
The bidding war over a franchise tag that previously sent superstar quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints into arbitration, has finally come to an end. After months of playing monetary fisticuffs, the two sides have come to a five-year $100 million dollar agreement, with a whopping $60 million guaranteed.
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Brees had previously won an arbitration hearing that allowed him the rights to negotiate a new contract and without being bound by the terms of the franchise tag.
The deal was sealed earlier this morning between Brees' agent Tom Condon and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis.
Brees spoke to Ed Werner of ESPN regarding the record breaking deal:
"I appreciate the diligence and steadfast efforts by both sides to get this deal done," said Brees.
"I love my organization, team, and the city of New Orleans. Thank you especially to (owners) Gayle and Tom Benson for the opportunity. Now I need to go earn it," continued Brees.
A franchise tag is a designation that an NFL team may put on a player about to become an unrestricted free agent. The label binds them to the organization for one year if certain conditions are met. Each team can only use one of these tags per year; it is designated only for players of high value. Its purpose is to reduce the players' movement to a bigger market team. In turn, the player who agrees to the tag will have a one-year guaranteed contract if he elects to play for that team.
It is important to note that Brees he had already been franchised by the San Diego Chargers back in "05."
By completing the deal, the Saints franchise player avoided having to play under the conditions of his recent tag; which was $16.371 million.
Previously threatening a holdout, the latter scenario would not have been pretty.
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