When Saints coach Joe Vitt last spoke about the status of unsigned franchise quarterback Drew Brees, Vitt expressed confidence that the deal would get done.
On Tuesday, he expressed confidence again.
“Absolutely, I am,” Vitt said Tuesday, via comments distributed by the team.
And while many are fretting about the fact that Brees isn’t present for a “mandatory” minicamp (it ain’t mandatory for guys not under contract), Vitt isn’t.
“Nobody is going to come in better shape than Drew,” Vitt said. “Drew is working hard right now. Drew is working extremely hard right now. He’s mastered the system. This will get done. It will get done with both parties getting together and getting this thing done. They are both working hard at it.”
In prior comments, Vitt said that, like last year’s labor deal, this will get done as the clock approaches midnight. But the question remains: When is midnight?
Reading between the lines in Tuesday comments from linebacker Scott Shanle, midnight may be Week One. “We are confident that Drew will be there this year on Sundays and that is when it really counts,” Shanle said. “If anybody can take this much time off and excel, it is Drew Brees.”
But the question isn’t whether Brees will be ready to work. The question is whether the other players will be ready to work with Brees, especially if he misses all of the offseason program and all of training camp and all of the preseason. Especially with coach Sean Payton gone for the year and Vitt due to start a six-game suspension of his own once the regular season begins.
Regardless, the clock continues to tick. And no one really knows when it will reach threat level midnight.