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The Saints paid Drew Brees too much and are now annoyed with him about it

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Brees is due to count $30 million against the Saints salary cap in 2016 and reportedly won't be on the roster unless he takes a hometown discount.

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Drew Brees is scheduled to become a free agent in the 2017 offseason, but not before he counts $30 million against the New Orleans Saints salary cap in 2016. His huge contract has become a burden for the talent-deficient Saints and the team is frustrated internally about the fact that the quarterback maximized his contract, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The five-year, $100 million contract signed by Brees in 2012 has a base salary that has increased in each year, beginning with $3 million in the first season and climbing all the way to $13.55 million this season and $19.75 million in 2016. If Brees isn't willing to take a hometown discount to lower his tremendous cap hit next season, his time with the Saints could be through.

"It is a possibility he is playing his last game in the Superdome," Rapoport said on NFL GameDay Morning on Sunday. "He has a $30 million cap figure for next year, and he's simply not going to play on that. What I am told is do not simply assume he will be back. He will need to take a hometown discount as far as a contract extension to do so. There is some thought on the team that the reason they have depth issues is because Brees maximized his contract last time."

Brees, 36, has been with the Saints since signing with the team in free agency in 2006 after beginning his career with the San Diego Chargers. In 10 seasons with New Orleans, he has made eight Pro Bowls and led the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2010.

The Saints are close to finishing a 10th consecutive season in the top six of the NFL in total offense with Brees at the helm, but the defense has struggled to improve in recent years. After improving to No. 4 in the NFL during an 11-5 season in 2013, the defense allowed the fifth-most points in 2014 and has given up the most points in the NFL in 2015.

No other player on the Saints roster counted more than $7 million against the salary cap in 2015, while Brees represented a $23.8 million hit. In 2016, defensive end Cameron Jordan is due to carry a $12.8 million hit and safety Jairus Byrd will count as a $10.9 million hit. Former Saints defensive end Junior Galette will count as a $12.1 million hit, despite being released and signed by Washington in the summer.

Brees is expected to start against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16, despite suffering a torn plantar fascia in Week 15. He is No. 4 in NFL history in passing yards with 60,168 and needs just 1,194 more yards to pass Dan Marino for third all-time.

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