Drew Brees and the Saints have said so many times that both sides want to get a long-term contract done that it seems like a mere formality that things will get worked out long before it’s time for Brees to get to work at the Saints’ first offseason minicamp.
But one report suggests that contract talks aren’t moving as quickly as the Brees side expected: ESPN’s John Clayton said on SportsCenter this morning that Brees’ agent, Tom Condon, is surprised by the slow pace of the talks.
“I ran into his agent, Tom Condon of CAA, last week, and even he’s kind of baffled at this time as far as how this is going because it’s going to slow,” Clayton said. “Everybody knows the Saints aren’t going to lose Drew Brees. They can franchise him, they can get him to a long-term deal. But they’re really somewhat nowhere right now as far as getting a contract. But there’s still plenty of time before they have to make a franchise designation to pick things up. But that has to start picking up, really, in the next week or so. At this stage there’s been no real solid progress, but everybody in New Orleans, including Drew Brees, knows he’s not going to be a free agent. He is their franchise.”
The issue isn’t whether Brees will be the Saints’ quarterback in 2012. He will be. Condon being baffled isn’t like Tiki Barber being flabbergasted because Barber was flabbergasted when the 2011 season started and he wasn’t under contract. One way or another, Brees and the Saints will find a way to get him under contract before the 2012 season starts.
Condon’s comments, however, suggest that the agent is trying to do what agents do, and spurring the Saints to get moving on a long-term deal. If that doesn’t happen and the Saints put the franchise tag on Brees, and if Brees decides he’s not interested in signing the one-year franchise tender, this could drag out much further into the Saints’ offseason than anyone in New Orleans would like.