The NFL Players Association released a statement Tuesday praising the arbitrator who ruled in favor of Drew Brees in his grievance with the New Orleans Saints over his franchise tag designation. Brees argued that he was being franchised for the second time in his career, the first being while he was in San Diego, and that a third franchise tag in 2013 would entitle him to a 144 percent pay increase under the collective bargaining agreement.
In the statement, the NFLPA said that "this ruling will help all Franchise Players in the future," and that hopefully it will help Brees and the Saints as they negotiate a long term deal for the quarterback.
Full statement below:
We are 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.
The arbitrator properly rejected the NFL's strained interpretation of the CBA language, which ignored the fact that a Franchise Player designation is a narrow exception to the overall free agency structure. This ruling will help all Franchise Players in the future.
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 will be paid $16.3 million this season if he plays under the franchise tag, and would earn $23.5 million next season with the pay bump. The jump in salary could spur the Saints to make a deal this offseason.
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