Give it for Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback just signed a five-year, $100 million deal. It will pay him a staggering $40 million in 2012, and $60 million of it is guaranteed over the first three years of the deal. It represents a new record for guaranteed money.
Needless to say, it also makes Brees the highest paid player in the NFL. As far as the St. Louis Rams go, the deal sets a new bench mark for what the Rams could be on the hook for as Sam Bradford, hopefully, develops into the kind of quarterback he is capable of becoming.
It also makes for an interesting side-by-side comparison of the numbers this year, as well as another reminder of just how much things have changed for rookies in the NFL.
Bradford signed a six-year, $78 million deal as a rookie, before ever playing a single snap. To an extent, the number is justified since all he had to do was rejuvenate a franchise that took over the Lions' title as most futile in the NFL.
This year, Bradford will make $12 million in salary, and a cap hit of nearly $16 million. Bradford will make $9 million in 2013, $14 million in 2014 and $12.98 million in 2015. If he gets his career on track, an extension might be possible before the deal lapses, locking him in at competitive rates.
Peyton Manning will make $18 million with Broncos this season, and Brees gets $40 million, though his and Manning's deal will look far more similar after this season.
Tom Brady gets around $11 million this year, after restructuring to give New England more cap room. He is working on a contract he renegotiated in 2010, the final year of which is 2014. Tony Romo has two years left on a $67.5 million deal he signed in 2007; look for that to change after this season.