In about three hours, Drew Brees will become one of the richest men in football history. He’ll agree to a five-year, $100 million contract with $60 million guaranteed, a certainty unheard of in the NFL. But right now, he doesn’t know any of that. All he knows is that his agent is working around the clock to seal the deal before Monday and avoid all sorts of unpleasant territory like training camp holdouts and the inevitable game of PR chicken that would ensue in the media. Right now, the only thing that matters is his workout.
It’s 6:30 in the morning, and Brees just walked into Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, the gym where he’s trained in the off-season under Todd Durkin for the past nine years, dating back to his days with the Chargers. If the contract process hangs over his head in any way, he hides it well. He stops to greet the staff, all of whom gather to meet him like a family member returned from a long trip away, even though he was just here yesterday. There are fist bumps and hugs and personal banter about kids and wives and husbands. Brees’ wife, Brittany, 8½ months pregnant with the couple’s third child, will come in to work out later. One of the girls behind the desk tells him she baked muffins for after the training session. From the way he reacts, she might have said she had built him a monument.
“That’s incredible,” Brees says in his warm Texas accent. “Thank you so much.”