At a time when Saints fans desperately need some good news, they’re not going to be getting it any time soon from quarterback Drew Brees.
Brees and the team are no closer on a new contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Now that the offseason program has entered Phase Two, with something more closely resembling football practice but still no helmets, the Saints are getting closer to the point where it will be critical to have Brees around. But neither side is blinking, even as the franchise struggles through one of the toughest offseasons any team has endured.
The Saints have applied the exclusive franchise tender to Brees. He can, if he chooses, hold out for all of training camp and the preseason, sign the tender, and receive the full amount of his salary.
Though Brees surely believes he has the upper hand, he runs the risk of alienating the fan base if something isn’t worked out, at the latest before training camp opens. As Saints fans settle in to an us-against-the-world bunker mentality, Brees eventually needs to duck into the bunker, or else he’ll risk being lumped in with the rest of “the world.”
That doesn’t mean the Saints should deliberately wait things out until Brees feels compelled to take whatever he can get for fear of alienating his adopted hometown. The Saints must try to find a middle ground with the man who has been the best quarterback in the NFL over the last six years.
If both sides are committed to being fair, this thing could get done in an afternoon.