Saints quarterback Drew Brees is having another stellar season. And with each game from which he emerges both healthy and sporting even healthier stats, Brees racks up some extra leverage for his next contract, given that the current one expires after the 2011 season.
A league source tells us that Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis and agent Tom Condon are expected to have a “casual visit” in connection with the team’s trip to St. Louis for Sunday’s game, given that Condon operates out of the city with the big arch and a new trophy with a bunch of little flags on it. But the talks aren’t expected to spark any real progress toward a new deal.
This one is pointing firmly toward heating up, if at all, in February, with the franchise tag being used if a deal can’t be worked out. Then, the question will be whether Brees will refuse to sign the franchise tender deep into the offseason, keeping him away from his teammates during offseason workouts, training camp, and/or preseason games.
It’s possible that Brees will do what guys like Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney did while under the franchise tag. Brees could show up for meetings, but not engage in any practices until he gets his contract.
While these things are all 2012 issues, Brees’ performance in 2011 is pushing the parties toward such an outcome, if they can’t work out a new deal now.