Brees, Saints agree on extension

Updated: 

The New Orleans Saints reached a deal with Drew Brees to ensure that the quarterback does not become a free agent just yet.

The Saints announced a five-year contract extension for Brees on Wednesday.

The deal includes $44.25million in guaranteed money, according to ESPN, and can be voided after two seasons.

"I'm humbled and honoured, and have been from the day that I first stepped foot in here as a New Orleans Saint," Brees said.

"It's been an incredible journey and I hope to continue that journey for quite a bit longer. Like I've always said, these contract situations are indeed just a part of the process. They all happen in due time, they all happen when they're supposed to.

"Both sides are very happy. Certainly, I'm very happy. I want to play my entire career here and I'm just taking it one step at a time, one year at a time, one opportunity at a time. But this allows me to be around here for a bit longer, and I'll be here as long as they'll have me."

Brees previously said he would not negotiate his contract during the season, which meant a deal had to get done soon with the Saints' opener  approaching.

The 37-year-old quarterback was set to become a free agent, and it would have cost the Saints $43m to use the franchise tag on him for a third time.

Brees joined the Saints in 2006 and won a Super Bowl in 2009.

He has been one of the league's best quarterbacks during his time in New Orleans, leading the NFL in passing in four of the last five seasons.

"It's a real good deal for both," Saints coach Sean Payton said Thursday of negotiations between Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and Brees' agent, Tom Condon.

"I had a lot confidence in the process."