AP source: Drew Brees agrees to 5-year deal

By Brett Martel

Associated Press

Published: Friday, July 13 2012 7:34 p.m. MDT

During the past six seasons, Brees has not only led the Saints to their only Super Bowl title, but has completed more passes (2,488) for more yards (28,394) and more touchdowns (201) than any other quarterback in the NFL. His 67.8 percent completion rate spanning the past six seasons also tops the league.

In 2011, Brees set NFL single-season records with 468 completions, 5,476 yards passing and a completion percentage of 71.2. His prolific passing numbers helped the Saints set an NFL high for total offensive yards in a season with 7,474. Brees' yards passing record shattered a mark of 5,084 set by Dan Marino back in 1984.

He led the Saints to a 13-3 regular-season record and second NFC South title in three seasons. New Orleans defeated Detroit in the first round of the playoffs before falling in the final seconds of its second-round game at San Francisco.

Arriving in New Orleans the season after Hurricane Katrina struck, Brees has become arguably the most popular sports figure in the city's history. In addition to leading the club to its lone Super Bowl title for the 2009 season, Brees has become a civic pillar of the community. He and his wife have worked through their Brees Dream foundation to sponsor about $8 million in projects primarily aimed at improving the lives of children in the area through the refurbishing of schools or renovation of athletic fields and facilities. His foundation also has supported the arts, along with hospital facilities for cancer patients.

In the Big Easy, he enjoys the status of royalty, even being invited to serve as the honorary "king" of some of the city's biggest Mardi Gras parades.

This offseason marked the first time Brees had the opportunity to negotiate a major, long-term deal with the leverage provided by a string of injury-free seasons highlighted by a slew of individual and team statistical records, in addition to a championship.

He commanded only second-round money when he was drafted by San Diego, and the Chargers placed the one-year franchise tag on him when that deal ran out in 2005. The right-handed Brees then had an injury the following season that required major surgery to his throwing shoulder, and which left him with few major offers during the 2006 offseason.

He wound up signing the six-year deal in New Orleans that left him playing for well below what the top quarterbacks in the league earned during the past few seasons.

Brees' new deal tops the previous benchmark contract for elite QBs set by the five-year, $96 million deal Denver gave earlier this offseason to Peyton Manning, who is 3 years older than Brees and sat out last season while recovering from neck surgery.

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