May 9th, 2012
As each day passes with no progress, it looks more and more like Drew Brees will play for the New Orleans Saints under the franchise tag during the 2012 season.
One would think that after Brees’ record-shattering campaign was proceeded by an offseason from public relations hell, the Saints front office wouldn’t sleep until they agreed on a long-term deal with the face of their franchise.
However, that hasn’t been the case.
In mid-April, ESPN’s John Clayton told the Mike & Mike radio show:
You get the feeling they’ll get something done. It’s just going to be weeks, a couple of days, could take them a month. But overall, they’ve moved closer, not in the last couple of weeks, but at least a couple of weeks ago.
However, appearing on SportsCenter a week ago, Adam Schefter reported (h/t Rotoworld) that the two sides were making no progress in contract talks:
I’m told that the two sides have not made any progress. They’re basically exactly where they’ve been. They’re not any closer to a new deal for Drew Brees than they were weeks ago. The deal is not close to being done.
That’s not a good sign for Saints fans, and it’s especially bad news for Brees. This is a guy that wants a long-term contract, and deservedly so.
During his spot on Mike & Mike, the single-season passing-yard record holder was asked (h/t USA Today) why he doesn’t want to play as the team’s franchise player:
I’ve played under the franchise tag before, back in 2005, and that ended with 13 anchors in my right shoulder and a 25% chance of playing football again.
That didn’t work out too well for me. I’ve talked to the Saints about this many times. They definitely know my desire to have a long-term deal, and hopefully they want me to have that as well. We will continue discussions and hopefully get a long-term deal done.
I’m with him.
If the Saints can’t strike a deal with their quarterback, which would most likely make Brees the richest player in football, he’ll make $14.4 million in 2012.
Clearly, it isn’t easy to work out all the kinks, structure the clauses and lay out the incentives in a multi-year contract worth potentially more than $100 million, but the there’s a chance the Saints want to see how Brees plays after his historic 2011 season without Marques Colston and Carl Nicks.
Although he’s shown no signs of slowing down, he is 33 years old.
It seems inconceivable, but yes, the guy that seems most worthy of a mega extension may not get one from his team this offseason.
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