Jay Glazer of FOX reports that the Saints have applied the franchise tag to quarterback Drew Brees.
A league source tells PFT that it’s the exclusive version of the tag, which prevents Brees from talking to any other teams — and which eliminates the risk of some other franchise offering Brees a huge contract and giving the Saints two first-round picks if the Saints choose not to match.
It’s not a surprise. The non-exclusive tag for quarterbacks will cost roughly $14.4 million for 2012. As explained Friday, just before the bounty brouhaha broke, the exclusive tender is expected to land between $15 million and $16 million, due in large part to the coming release of Peyton Manning and the recent restructuring of Ben Roethlisberger’s contract.
This is going to be fun to watch.