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Drew Brees stays a Saint while Giants part ways with three

Two of the NFC's most up-and-down teams of recent years today made announcements regarding their rosters - one hoping for some much-needed s


Two of the NFC’s most up-and-down teams of recent years today made announcements regarding their rosters – one hoping for some much-needed stability, the other kicking off what could be a significant roster makeover. Throughout the 2015 season, there were many questions regarding the future of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees. Payton was confirmed as returning to the team the day after the season, but Brees’ status remained uncertain. Well, today it became clear that Drew Brees wouldn’t be going anywhere. Under Brees contract, by virtue of the fact that he was still on the Saints’ roster this morning, $10.85 million of Brees’ 2016 salary became guaranteed, per Adam Schefter. On top of the now-guaranteed portion of his salary, Brees also counts a further $10 million against the Saints’ salary cap: https://twitter.com/AlbertBreer/status/697551021317427200 That $10 million is a result of $7.4 million from his initial 2012 signing bonus, and a further $2.6 million from a contract restructure Brees agreed to just after the start of last season. Essentially, cutting Brees would release less than $10 million of their cap room, which simply isn’t worth losing one of the league’s top quarterbacks, even if he is on the downside of the career. As it currently stands, Brees will be a free agent after the 2016 season, but at the very least, it gives the Saints a year to put a succession plan in place. In contrast, the New York Giants announced the release of three players today, all of whom had been starters when healthy. Jon Beason, Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz were all given their walking papers today, as the Giants look to bounce back from their third straight losing season. Beatty was drafted by the Giants in 2009, and took over as the full-time starter at left tackle during their 2011 Super Bowl season. Beatty remained a solid, if unspectacular, piece on the Giants’ line for the next three seasons, but missed all of 2015 due to an offseason weightlifting injury that resulted in a torn pectoral muscle and rotator cuff. Schwartz joined the team as a free agent in 2014 from the Chiefs, but played just two games that season due to injury; he returned in 2015 but missed the final games of the season with a broken leg. Beason, who was drafted by the Carolina Panthers, was at one point one of the league’s elite middle linebackers, and in 2011 signed the then-largest contract ever paid to an inside linebacker. However, the Panthers traded Beason to the Giants in 2013 after struggling on the field following his return from a season-ending injury the previous year. Beason’s play returned to form following the trade, and he was re-signed to a three-year contract at the end of the season. Beason was never able to shake the injury bug, playing only nine combined games in the past two season. Beatty and Beason both had one season left on their contracts, while Schwartz had two years remaining. The Giants free up over $11 million through the cuts. Beatty and Schwartz are likely to get at least some interest in the open market, as offensive linemen as are always in need, and they will be just 31 and 30 respectively at the start of the next season, which is when linemen typically peak. Beason, however, announced that following his release, the linebacker will officially retire. His career will likely be remembered as one had its very high potential derailed by a litany of injuries.


Gur Samuel

Hi! I'm Gur and I'm RealSport's Editor-in-Chief. I'm also currently the site's tennis editor, and contribute to our NFL, wrestling and Formula 1 coverage as well. I'm also an NFL analyst for CNN International and contributor to SB Nation, and have contributed to, or been interviewed by, various print, broadcast and online media, including the BBC, Mail Online, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Boston Globe, and Yahoo! Sports.

Drew Brees stays a Saint while Giants part ways with three

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