Drew Brees, the savior of the New Orleans Saints and arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the game still doesn’t have a contract. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the chance for the team to sign their beloved quarterback to a long term deal before organized team activities begin on May 22 is practically zero.
The Saints technically have until July 16 to sign Brees to a long term deal, but in reality it would make infinitely more sense to not have this be a distraction in training camp and throughout the season. July 16 is the deadline for players designated with franchise tags to be signed.
Sporting News correspondent Mike Triplett reports on NOLA.com,
“[Neither side has] has picked up the phone for more than a month to resuscitate talks,”
The Saints have been a little bit distracted this offseason with the fallout from the bountygate scandal basically decimating their teams management. General manager Mickey Loomis, coach Sean Payton and top aide Joe Vitt were suspended in March. Then, to make matters worse,the NFL suspended linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire season and defensive end Will Smith for four games.
Add the contract dispute with Brees to the long list of issues plaguing the Saints this season. The Saints were considered at the top of most commentators lists for Super Bowl contention this year before Commissioner Roger Goodell’s punishment for the pay-to-injure players program.
According to sources close to the negotiations Brees is seeking $21 million dollars a season while the Saints want to pay him in the neighborhood of $18-$19 Million Dollars per season.
When it became apparent that the Saints and Brees were at an impasse the Saints slapped the franchise tag on Brees all but guaranteeing that if Brees puts on a uniform this season it will be for the Saints. Under franchise tag rules, Brees will be paid $16.3 million next season.