Brees agrees to shorter extension

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has completed 70% of his passes, 26 for touchdowns with eight interceptions, this season.
(Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees decided against holding out for the lengthy contract extension he coveted and took one for the team.

Brees agreed to new contract that keeps him in New Orleans through the 2017 season, and a person familiar with the deal says it guarantees the record-setting quarterback $44.3 million the next two years.

The deal also provides the Saints with nearly $13 million in additional spending flexibility under the 2016 salary cap as the team continues to shuffle the roster in advance of Sunday’s regular-season opener at home against Oakland.


Earlier this summer, Brees had stated that he believes he can play at an elite level at least another five years.

“I wanted the contract to reflect that, naturally, and have it be the last contract that I signed,” Brees said. “But it was in the best interest of the team to make it a little bit shorter. And I think that just made everyone a bit more comfortable and it still put us in a very good position to go out and do the things we need to do to continue to build the team and put us in the best position to succeed. And that to me was the most important thing.”

Vikings don’t name starting QB

Minnesota Coach Mike Zimmer wants to keep the Tennessee Titans guessing about who will start for the Vikings at quarterback when the teams meet in the season opener Sunday.

Zimmer declined to announce a starter Wednesday, saying he will see how veteran backup Shaun Hill and recently acquired Sam Bradford perform in practice this week before making a decision. And even after he does decide, the coach said he would not reveal the answer until just before kickoff in Nashville.

“I thought we’d run the single wing this week,” Zimmer deadpanned.

The Vikings gave Philadelphia a first-round draft pick and a conditional fourth-round pick for Bradford, leading Titans Coach Mike Mularkey to believe that he will be the starter, saying, “You don’t give up a 1 and a 4 to have a guy sit very long.”


Receiver Emmanuel Sanders and the Denver Broncos agreed on a three-year, $33-million contract extension Wednesday on the eve of the season opener against Carolina. Sanders has posted back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, amassing 2,529 yards and 15 touchdowns on 177 catches . ... Defensive end Joey Bosa, the San Diego Chargers’ top draft pick, didn’t participate in practice Wednesday because of what appears to be an injury to his left leg and and all indications are that he won’t play against Kansas City on Sunday in the season opener. ... The Chicago Bears signed three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Kyle Long to a four-year extension through the 2021 season. ... The Eagles traded cornerback and former second-round pick Eric Rowe to the New England Patriots for a conditional draft pick.