Drew Brees prevails in arbitration over '13 franchise tag

There probably will not be much if any NFL business done on the holiday with 12 days until the deadline for players with the franchise tag to sign long-term contracts.

But when the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees get down to business – presumably that is going to happen soon – the quarterback now has some leverage. An arbitrator ruled in favor of Brees when it comes to how much the club would have to pay him in the event he was tagged again next year in 2013.

Brees has been tagged for this season at a cost of $16.3 million and according to the Associated Press, it’s considered the second time he’s been tagged after getting the tag once before in his career in San Diego. Therefore, it would cost the Saints roughly $23 million to tag Brees again in 2013 – a 44 percent raise. The league had argued it should be a 20 percent raise. That means he’d earn close to $40 million this season and next year playing under the tag.

Brees is believed to be seeking more than that over the next two seasins in a multi-year contract. Time is running out for him and the other players with the franchise tag to sign on the dotted line.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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