NEW ORLEANS (AFP) –
The New Orleans Saints have agreed to a five-year contract with quarterback Drew Brees, making him one of the highest paid players in the National Football League, the club announced.
The contract is worth $100 million with a league-record $60 million in guaranteed money, broadcaster ESPN and other US media reported. The first year of the deal is reportedly worth $40 million.
The 11-year-veteran had let the Saints know he was looking for a long-term deal.
“Deal is Done! Love you. See you soon!” Brees wrote on Twitter.
Saints owner Tom Benson said the club worked hard to keep Brees on their payroll.
“Now we must turn our focus to getting ready for the start of training camp and to keeping with our goal of being the first team in NFL history to host and play in a Super Bowl,” said Benson, a reference to the fact that New Orleans will be the site of the next Super Bowl.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said Brees was being rewarded for his success on the field.
“What Drew has accomplished in his time with the Saints, he deserves to be the highest paid player in the league,” Loomis said.
“We are excited to have this deal done and behind us and look forward to the next five years with Drew as our quarterback.”
Brees was coming off a brilliant season in which he set NFL records for passing yards (5,476), completions (468) and completion percentage (71.2).
Brees, who took New Orleans to a Super Bowl championship in 2010, also led the league with 46 touchdown passes and averaged 342 yards passing per game. He was named to last year’s NFC Pro Bowl team.
In 154 career games, Brees has thrown for 40,742 yards and 281 touchdowns.
Brees has the fourth most wins by an NFL quarterback since 2006 and the Saints have a 62-33 record in games he has started.
Brees was originally selected by the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the 2001 NFL draft with the 32nd overall pick. He signed with the Saints as an unrestricted free agent six years ago.
Retaining his services is a boost for a club that’s been hit hard by sanctions for a pay-for-hits bounty scandal.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell banned Saints coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season after a league investigation found between 22 and 27 Saints players took thousands of dollars in payoffs for hits that forced opposing players out of games.
Linebacker Jonathan Vilma was also suspended for the entire season.
Loomis was suspended for eight games and assistant coach Joe Vitt was suspended for six.