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Drew Brees open to restructuring Saints contract

As Seahawks pass rushers Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were beating up Drew Brees on Saturday, the New Orleans Saints quarterback surely wished Seattle didn't have all that free salary-cap space to sign the veteran defensive linemen on the cheap this past offseason.

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Seattle signal-caller Russell Wilson's low salary as a third-round draft pick gave the Seahawks the financial flexibility to sign players like Bennett and Avril.

Heading into the offseason, Brees knows his Saints have several free agents of their own they need to sign, including tight end Jimmy Graham and tackle Zach Strief on the offensive side of the ball.

The 35-year-old quarterback's contract takes up $18.4 million in cap space next season before ballooning to $26.4 million and $27.4 million in 2014 and 2015. His team enters the offseason at least $12 million over the projected salary cap, according to the The Times-Picayune.

The quarterback said Monday he is open to restructuring his contract.

"Whatever I can do to help this team, if they want to come to me and extend me even further, that'd be great," Brees said.

How much further into the future any contract extension would go is a question mark. Brees still is playing at a very high level under coach Sean Payton. Brees just completed his third consecutive 5,000-plus yard passing season.

"Listen, I get compensated very well. I don't take that for granted for one second," Brees said. "But I play this game because I love this game, I love this locker room and I love the opportunity to win a championship."

Brees is a good test case of how a high-salary quarterback can potentially hinder a team needing to add the final pieces for a championship run. Meanwhile, either Seattle or San Francisco will make the Super Bowl with a young signal-caller, neither of whom counts more than $1.5 million against the cap this season.

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