New Orleans Saints  


Drew Brees to argue franchise-tag grievance with Saints


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will set the stage for the financial parameters of his earnings over the next few seasons Wednesday, when he argues a franchise-tag grievance against the NFL before Special Master Stephen Burbank in Philadelphia.

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The NFL Players Association will represent Brees at the hearing.

The Saints placed the franchise tag on Brees for the 2012 season for $16.4 million. He will argue that if the Saints also place the tag on him for the 2013 season, they will owe him a 44 percent raise, which would bring the total to nearly $24 million for one season.

Brees was franchised by the San Diego Chargers in 2005, and he believes the Saints should have to pay the hefty increase for tagging him for the third time in his career.

The counter argument is that because this would be just the second time the Saints would have franchised him, they should give Brees just a 20 percent increase, which would bring his 2013 salary to roughly $19.6 million.

Once a ruling is made -- the decision isn't expected to take long, because there is a July 16 deadline  work out a deal -- the parameters for contract negotiations between Brees and the Saints would be firmly established.

The Saints and Brees hope to reach agreement on a long-term deal, which would render the franchise numbers meaningless. If no contract is reached by July 16, Brees would have to play the 2012 season under the one-year franchise tag.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89



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