Scandal-hit Saints reach deal to keep QB Brees

Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:51pm EDT

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees walks on the field after his team's loss to the San Francisco 49ers in their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in San Francisco, California, January 14, 2012. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees walks on the field after his team's loss to the San Francisco 49ers in their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in San Francisco, California, January 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

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(Reuters) - The New Orleans Saints and record-setting quarterback Drew Brees agreed to new contract on Friday, offering some good news to a National Football League (NFL) franchise that has been rocked by an off-season scandal.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed by the Saints but the NFL's website said Brees, who reportedly was not going to report to training camp without a new deal, agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract.

"Now we must turn our focus to getting ready for the start of training camp and to keeping with our goal of being the first team in NFL history to host and play in a Super Bowl," Saints owner Tom Benson, said in a statement.

Brees, who broke Hall of Famer Dan Marino's single-season NFL record for passing yardage when he threw for 5,476 yards in 2011, confirmed the signing on his Twitter account, saying: "Deal is Done."

The six-time Pro-Bowl quarterback's contract is worth $40 million in the first year and includes $60 million in guaranteed money, according to the report on the NFL's website, which cited a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Brees, who joined the Saints in 2006 after spending his first five campaigns with the San Diego Chargers, led the team to a maiden Super Bowl title in the 2009 NFL season and was named the championship game's most valuable player.

The deal is a welcome dose of good news for a franchise that has been dogged by turmoil this year after the NFL revealed the team had a program that rewarded players with cash rewards for knocking opponents out of games.

Several coaches, current and former Saints players have been suspended as part of the investigation and the organization was fined and stripped of draft picks.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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