New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has won his grievance regarding his “franchise player” tag, a ruling that was handed down on Tuesday by Arbitrator Stephen Burbank, the ruling was revealed by union and league sources.
Under Burbank’s ruling Drew Brees will be able to play through the 2012 season under his current franchise number and can then only be tagged for the 2013 season. The ruling also means that a franchise tag by the New Orleans Saints in 2013 will raise Brees salary by 144 percent.
The arbitration came down after the New Orleans Saints tagged Drew Brees with the franchise tag in 2012. Brees had previously been tagged by the San Diego Chargers which led to questions over whether the new tag was the first or second.
The NFL Players Association asked for arbitration to determine the case since the language for franchise tagging is vague in the collective bargaining agreement.
According to the players union the CBA was meant to allow for a player to be franchise tagged no more than three times regardless of which team performs the franchise tag.
Drew Brees will earn $16.371 million under his current franchise tag and should he be tagged again in 2013 the New Orleans Saints will be forced to pay him $23,574,240. Should the Saints tag Brees for 2013 that would mean over two seasons he would earn $39,945,240.
In the meantime the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees have until July 16 to form a long-term extension otherwise the team could pay Drew Brees $40 million over two-years and then watch him leave for another NFL franchise.