Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints divided by money in first three years, sources say - ESPN. Drew Brees wants $23 million per season over the next three years because Peyton Manning was scheduled to receive $23 million per season over the first three years of the contract he signed with the Colts last July. The Saints want to pay Brees $18 million per over the next three years, which is similar to Tom Brady's deal.
Why does this matter for the Green Bay Packers? Because Aaron Rodgers is scheduled to be paid $27.75 million over the next three seasons. For his part, he still says he was "blessed to be able to have that contract done in 2008" and it runs through 2014. It doesn't sound like he's going to complain in public, but Brees will probably be paid twice as much as Rodgers over the next three years.
But GM Ted Thompson has been known for adjusting veterans' base salaries. Charles Woodson, Donald Driver, and Mark Tauscher are veterans who were given base salary raises when they became relatively underpaid in the final years of a long-term contract.
If Brees negotiates a deal that pays him $55 to 60 million over the next three seasons, then the Packers would have to double Rodgers's base salary to make it comparable. Ted Thompson might very well do it, but he'd probably want to extend the contract past 2014 for salary cap reasons, and to guarantee that Rodgers will stay in Green Bay.
Rodgers has hinted on Twitter recently that players should be able to play where they want to play, and that might be a sign he'd like to explore the free agent market. But it would be really hard to turn down a huge guaranteed contract.
I don't expect the Packers will do anything until Brees actually agrees to a long-term deal and Matt Flynn is signed by another team. Also, Thompson will need to know the exact 2012 salary cap amounts. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Rodgers sign a new contract in the summer.