With Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Mike Vick locking up long-term deals and with all other high-end quarterbacks not close enough to the end of their current contracts to trigger discussions on an extension, Saints quarterback Drew Brees remains the biggest name on deck for a new contract.
Two weeks ago, we reported that a “huge gap” exists between the two sides. Amid recent public comments from both Brees and agent Tom Condon regarding the talks, a source with knowledge of the situation tells us that negotiations have been occurring “non-stop.”
Per the source, if a deal isn’t completed within the next week, talks could be shut down until after the season — adding that it will be a “close call” as to whether an agreement is reached in the short term.
Though Brees can separate football and business, the contract talks could become a distraction if the Saints lose to the Bears on Sunday and fall to 0-2. At some point, both sides will want to table the issue and focus exclusively on winning games.
If the discussions are suspended, both sides assume risk. Brees, if he suffers a significant injury, will see his leverage drop. If, on the other hand, he emerges unscathed, the price to keep him likely will go way up.