The Saints have placed the exclusive franchise tag on Drew Brees, which means he’s not allowed to negotiate with any other team, and therefore his only leverage in negotiations is the threat that he simply won’t sign at all. And Brees sounds like he’s ready to use that leverage.
Brees said on Mike and Mike in the Morning that after signing the one-year franchise tender with the Chargers in the 2005 season, only to suffer a serious injury to his throwing shoulder at the end of that season, he’s in no mood to sign the one-year franchise tender again. Instead, Brees wants the Saints to commit to him for the long term.
“I’ve played under the franchise tag before, back in 2005, and that ended with 13 anchors in my right shoulder and a 25 percent chance of playing football again,” Brees said. “That didn’t work out too well for me. I’ve talked to the Saints about this many times. They definitely know my desire to have a long-term deal, and hopefully they want me to have that as well. We will continue discussions and hopefully get a long-term deal done.”
Brees is making the promotional rounds as part of an endorsement deal, but he sounded like he wasn’t particularly thrilled to be talking about his contract — and not particularly thrilled that his contract is still an issue after he and the Saints’ brass had said repeatedly during the season that they fully expected a deal to get done. Brees did, however, express some optimism.
“I’m still hoping that we can get something done sooner than later,” Brees said.
But if they don’t get something done, the Saints better not count on Brees reporting for the one-year franchise tender.