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The Brees deal guessing game begins

Indianapolis Colts v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Whenever an presumably inevitable transaction begins to move closer to its inevitability, members of the media who possibly are trying to enhance their stature inevitably begin reporting that the transaction is “very close.”

It’s now happening regarding the seemingly inevitable contract between the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees.  Fueled, apparently, by our recent report that the gap between the two sides isn’t as big as previously reported, reporters are reporting that the deal could be done soon — with the usual safe-harbor language included in the event it isn’t.

Per multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations, a deal isn’t “very close.”  Could something happen in the next few days to break a logjam that has existed for months?  Possibly, but highly unlikely.  (There’s an example of the safe-harbor language.  Still, if a deal is done by Monday, I will be flabbergasted, shocked, and perplexed.)

Recently, interim coach Joe Vitt expressed confidence that a contract at some point will be finalized, explaining that deals of this nature tend to happen at the “23rd hour.”  Though it’s unclear when the 23rd hour will arrive, there’s no reason to believe that the bells will begin tolling between now and Monday.

Complicating matters is the grievance filed last week by the NFLPA, seeking clarification as to whether Brees would be entitled to a 20-percent raise or a 44-percent raise, if the Saints use the franchise tag again on Brees in 2013.  If the issue is impacting the talks so significantly that Brees believes a ruling from Stephen Burbank is necessary, the two sides likely won’t be able to resolve their differences on this $3.9 million issue without, at a minimum, a hearing before Burbank at which he drops a strong hint as to how he intends to rule.

Thus, this one is no different than the stream of reports we’ve seen in recent years from folks who are willing to slide out onto what they believe to be a sturdy limb, in the hopes of later being able to claim that they were “first.”  Whether it’s Brees and the Saints being close or Andrew Luck being the top pick in Indianapolis or Cam Newton being the top pick in Carolina or Peyton Manning definitely signing with the Dolphins unless he has a change of heart (and, yes, someone with much larger ambitions than his current profile was pushing to us the “exclusive” report that Manning would be a Dolphin), some reporters will be unable to resist the temptation to make predictions disguised as reports, based on which way they think the wind is blowing.

In this case, the truth is that Brees and the Saints currently aren’t close to doing a deal.  Real progress likely will be made as July 16, the deadline for signing franchise players to multi-year deals, approaches.

UPDATE 10:55 a.m. ET:  Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune confirms that a deal is not imminent, as does ESPN’s Ed Werder.

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24 Responses to “The Brees deal guessing game begins”
  1. nyyjetsknicks says: Jun 7, 2012 9:16 AM

    Remember that time the Saints made a smart decision? Yeah, me either.

  2. jcaro5566 says: Jun 7, 2012 9:19 AM

    Why do pro athletes think they are entitled to pay raises of 20 or 40% per year when the rest of the working world gets no more than 3% if we get anything at all in this economy?

    I would like an explanation from Drew Brees on this!!!

  3. theashleyguy says: Jun 7, 2012 9:26 AM

    I always feel so sad about these heart-wrenching contract discussions between millionaires and billionaires. It just breaks your heart, doesn’t it?

  4. jonny42671 says: Jun 7, 2012 9:30 AM

    Did he get his explanation yet?

  5. gridironmike says: Jun 7, 2012 9:31 AM

    If a deal is done by Monday, don’t be flabbergasted, shocked or perplexed. Instead, give credit to Saints sideline reporter Kristian Garic, who broke this story. He is with the team everyday, has a sterling reputation, and has absolutely no need to enhance his reputation. The Saints will be at full strength on Monday, and I say it’s time to stop talking about them altogether until the season gets here. They will storm through the schedule like a team with everything to prove, and they have a nation full of haters to quiet. Anybody need an explanation?

  6. xxwhodatxx says: Jun 7, 2012 9:32 AM

    As a Saints fan there is no doubt the deal will get done on time. Sean Payton and Brees are meeting and planning the season while he’s not an employee of the league. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

  7. cakemixa says: Jun 7, 2012 9:47 AM

    nyyjetsknicks says:
    Jun 7, 2012 9:16 AM
    Remember that time the Saints made a smart decision? Yeah, me either.

    That is funny, because the next time either the Jets or Knicks make a good decision, it’ll be their first one.

  8. Mike Florio says: Jun 7, 2012 9:59 AM

    All I know is multiple sources close to the action say it’s not close. And common sense tells me there’s no reason to do it now. July 16 is the next deadline. Also, the grievance over his franchise tender in 2013 is still fresh; it would be a major shock if they find middle ground without Burbank’s involvement.

  9. winningisabrees says: Jun 7, 2012 10:03 AM

    nyyjetsknicks says:
    Jun 7, 2012 9:16 AM
    Remember that time the Saints made a smart decision? Yeah, me either.

    ———————————————–

    SB 44 Onside kick to start 2nd half.

    BURN

    Where’s Rex’s Ring?

  10. coolbrees88 says: Jun 7, 2012 10:05 AM

    Jennifer Hale from Fox 8 WVUE, is reporting that the gap between Brees & Saints is closing. Fox 8 is owned by the Benson family, take it like you want.

  11. winningisabrees says: Jun 7, 2012 10:06 AM

    jcaro5566 doesnt understand the Franchise Tag.

    Tagged once in career, average of top 3 paid at that positon.

    Tagged twice… 20% more than those 3 at that position

    Tagged 3 times, 44%

    its called CBA fool

  12. Buttsnake says: Jun 7, 2012 10:06 AM

    WWL-TV is reporting Brees will sign Friday or Monday

  13. malee2 says: Jun 7, 2012 10:11 AM

    How many times do you have to say ‘inevitable’

  14. dexterismyhero says: Jun 7, 2012 10:14 AM

    some reporters will be unable to resist the temptation to make predictions disguised as reports, based on which way they think the Brees is blowing.

    Fixed.

  15. jasonvining says: Jun 7, 2012 10:19 AM

    nyyjetsknicks says:
    Jun 7, 2012 9:16 AM
    Remember that time the Saints made a smart decision? Yeah, me either.

    Yeah, in 2006. And a lot of good decisions in 2009.

  16. musicman495 says: Jun 7, 2012 10:29 AM

    jcaro5566 says: Jun 7, 2012 9:19 AM

    Why do pro athletes think they are entitled to pay raises of 20 or 40% per year when the rest of the working world gets no more than 3% if we get anything at all in this economy?
    —————————————
    Why do fans think that pro athletes should be paid like office workers or truck drivers? Does anyone complain when George Clooney makes $20 million per year? No, they pay the $12 for a movie ticket and $10 for a bucket of popcorn and keep quiet.

    When the “rest of the working world” does something that not even 32 people on the planet can do – maybe one of the greatest ever to do what he does for a living – and help to earn billions of dollars for their employer, they can ask for larger than a 3% pay raise.

  17. dexterismyhero says: Jun 7, 2012 10:50 AM

    @winningisabrees says:Jun 7, 2012 10:03 AM

    nyyjetsknicks says:
    Jun 7, 2012 9:16 AM
    Remember that time the Saints made a smart decision? Yeah, me either.

    ———————————————–

    SB 44 Onside kick to start 2nd half.

    BURN

    Where’s Rex’s Ring?
    ==================================
    And the decisions to keep running a bounty program. BURN

  18. Buttsnake says: Jun 7, 2012 11:08 AM

    jcaro5566 says: Jun 7, 2012 9:19 AM

    Why do pro athletes think they are entitled to pay raises of 20 or 40% per year when the rest of the working world gets no more than 3% if we get anything at all in this economy?

    CLUELESS

    ==================================
    nyyjetsknicks says: Jun 7, 2012 9:16 AM

    Remember that time the Saints made a smart decision? Yeah, me either.

    I can think of 20 smart decisions for every one made by the jets and knicks combined
    ===============================

    jonny42671 says: Jun 7, 2012 9:30 AM

    Did he get his explanation yet?

    oh, i’ve never heard that one before. Say something original for once but most of your post border on the terminally stupid anyway

  19. winningisabrees says: Jun 7, 2012 11:15 AM

    dexterismyhero says:
    Jun 7, 2012 10:50 AM
    @winningisabrees says:Jun 7, 2012 10:03 AM

    nyyjetsknicks says:
    Jun 7, 2012 9:16 AM
    Remember that time the Saints made a smart decision? Yeah, me either.

    ———————————————–

    SB 44 Onside kick to start 2nd half.

    BURN

    Where’s Rex’s Ring?
    ==================================
    And the decisions to keep running a bounty program. BURN

    ___________________

    I know some people are gonna give me a hard time, But Where Is The Proof. Posted On-line for all to SEE READ AND DRAW OWN CONCLUSIONS, not what some NFL Puppet tells the sheep to believe.

  20. jason1980 says: Jun 7, 2012 11:26 AM

    Saints fans want an explanation as to why there are so hater fans on this site. When your team’s a winner, fans hate you, AND WHO DATS LOVE IT!!!

  21. CKL says: Jun 7, 2012 11:47 AM

    Not sure why it disappeared, but my comment was that the time to fight about this type of stuff was in the recent CBA negotiations. I personally feel the franchise tag is unfair to players if used more than twice ever, and they should have fought for that. Since they didn’t, they need to make their contract negotiations on the basis of what the contract they signed off on says, not try to twist it to mean what they want it to.

  22. mullman7675 says: Jun 7, 2012 11:59 AM

    jcaro5566 says:
    Jun 7, 2012 9:19 AM
    Why do pro athletes think they are entitled to pay raises of 20 or 40% per year when the rest of the working world gets no more than 3% if we get anything at all in this economy?

    I would like an explanation from Drew Brees on this!!!

     —————————————————————————
    As soon as everyone realizes that football and the people who play it have nothing to do with the “real world” the better.

    Pay scales/raises, bounties and the whole lot have no application to the “real world”.

    They are getting paid millions upon millions to play a game- that is as far removed from the “real world” that one can get.

  23. purplegreenandgold says: Jun 7, 2012 12:44 PM

    UPDATE 10:55 a.m. ET: Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune confirms that a deal is not imminent, as does ESPN’s Ed Werder.
    ===================================
    if ESPN’s Ed Werder say’s it isnt imminent then it must be imminent

  24. miamiterri says: Jun 7, 2012 2:48 PM

    Jeez – why doesnt he take the 19 million he was offered and be done w it?!! Im leaning towards believing he suffers from little-man syndrome and thats just no good.

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