Drew Brees: Saints QB Optimistic on Extension, Will Not Sit Out Season
On ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning, Brees called the negotiations “ongoing discussions” and sounded optimistic that the two sides would reach an agreement. "[I'm] still very confident that we'll get a long-term deal done, and hopefully that will happen sooner than later,” Brees said on air.
As the situation currently stands, Brees has been slapped with the franchise tag and will make $16.371 million for the 2012 season if he doesn’t sign a long-term contract extension with the Saints. There is, however, a deadline for that deal to get done.
If a new deal isn’t struck before July 16th, Brees will have to play under the franchise tag or sit out the season.
During an appearance on ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Tuesday, Brees bluntly said that he would never sit out the season. "I love the game too much," commented Brees.
So, Brees is not going to sit out 2012—which means he will either play under the franchise tag or a new deal will be reached.
It’s long been thought that Brees was looking for a huge contract, possibly a landmark deal to finish out his career in New Orleans. But according to an NFL.com report, Brees told The Dan Patrick Show that wasn’t the case.
Brees said he isn't motivated "to be the highest-paid" player in football, but he called for a fair deal.
Ironically, a fair deal might just make him the highest-paid player in the league. Peyton Manning just signed a deal with the Denver Broncos that will pay him $18 million in 2012. Brees has the statistics and longevity to back up asking for at least that much, and possibly even more.
Should Drew Brees be the highest paid player in the NFL?
But arguing how much Brees is worth isn’t the agenda right now. The fact that Brees went on three national television/radio shows and guaranteed that he would be on the field in 2012 is the important takeaway from today.
Saints fans should be elated that Brees has signaled that he will sign an extension. But while Brees is confident that a deal will soon be reached, don’t expect it to happen overnight. Since players won’t be reporting to training camp until late July, there is no reason for the six-time Pro Bowler to hurry up the deal.
Brees' agent, Tom Condon, and the Saints will go back and forth until they have a perfect situation for the quarterback and for the franchise. They just have to make sure it’s done before July 16th.
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