Brees, Saints still talking

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In six days, the Saints will have to apply the franchise tag to quarterback Drew Brees, if a long-term deal doesn’t get finalized before then.  And if that happens, the Saints won’t be able to use the franchise tag on Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells us that the two sides continue to talk, but that a deal is not yet done.

The challenge for both sides, as it was a year ago for the NFL and the NFLPA, will be to come to an understanding as to when the clock strikes 12 on getting a deal done.  Using the tag gives the Saints more time.  But it also potentially sets the stage for Brees to miss offseason workouts, training camp, and the preseason.

Once tagged, Brees can stay away until a few days before the regular-season opener and still get the full amount of his money.  That gives him real leverage.

But will he want to use it?  By doing so, he hurts the Saints — and he hurts himself, to the extent he wants to have another big season and ultimately make it to the first Super Bowl to be played in New Orleans in more than a decade.

Given that Nicks likely will be lost if the deal isn’t done by Monday, both sides should agree that midnight actually comes at 4:00 p.m. on March 5.

22 responses to “Brees, Saints still talking

  1. The deal will be done before FA starts. Book it. Both sides aren’t dumb enough to let what a should have been a relatively simple contract negotiation go on long enough to negatively impact the team next year.

  2. Just about everyone including the Saints says he is as good or better than Brady and Manning, why don’t they pay him like that is the case?

  3. Cakemixa, I’m down with that… Brees will retire a Saint. I’m a bit more worried about Nicks and Colston at this point. Both players, like Brees, Deuce, etc., embody what I call a real Saint. We’ve had many players over the years that were not. Recently, guys like Mike Bell and Olin Kreutz come to mind.
    I know its a business, but we’re fans. Some guys you just don’t want to see leave.

  4. I can’t see Bree’s going anywhere, but he needs the OL to protect him. This is what always happens with success. I hope they have something left to pay for a defense so they can win another Super Bowl!

  5. Does everyone in the NFL on each team think they can’t play unless they net 28 million dollars
    a year? Do they all think they can’t live on a lot less. Try being unemployeed and see how that
    sets with you.

  6. the longer it lingers tends to make you think that they are further apart than expected, especially since as some have noted… “it should be a relatively simple contract negotiation”, and even the Saints say he is as good or better than Brady and Manning, so pay him. I still think it will get done, and I dont think he will be tagged, but as the Union Rep, he is not going to give up on penny for his love of the Saints.

  7. I’m surprised that with comparable QB’s like Brady & Manning already getting deals that this hasn’t been done. Brady’s deal, four years, $72 million with $50 million guaranteed, seems about right, though he got just about all that guaranteed money in the first 13 months.
    If Brees and his agent are using that deal as their template all of the up front and first year costs could be a stumbling block.
    The franchise tag is a definite issue should they have to use it on Brees and not Nicks. Heck, these guys were gonna take a hit in free agency as it was anyway.

  8. Cakemixa – Personally, I think you’re right. But I would stay away from the phrase “book it”. I lost count of all the assclowns on this site that said the Giants would lose each playoff game and to “book it”.

  9. I think it’s taking longer than people think it should (though not necessarily longer than it should take…) because they are trying to find the best long term deal for Brees while leaving enough cap room available to re-sign Colston and Nicks while giving the team freedom to pursue free agents.

    People need to realize that no contract discussions occur in a vacuum in a salary cap system.

    I think that the delay in the Brees negotiations is more about the structure of the deal than it is about the value of the deal.

  10. What I can’t fathom is who the NFL expects clubs to know who to tag when the final cap number won’t be due until 10 days after free agency starts. Clubs have to tag by Mar 6 but won’t know cap until Mar 15. Who made up these screwy rules????

  11. irishgary says:
    Feb 28, 2012 11:00 AM
    This guy sure has turned into a PrimaDonna

    Please explain how you came to that conclusion after reading this article.

    That’s right, you can’t.

  12. Also, I don’t see that the Saints would be required to franchise Brees if the deal isn’t done by next week.

    I don’t think that it is remotely close to being a real possibility that he would go elsewhere.

  13. I thought there were some serious doubts the Saints would franchise Nicks even if they have the chance. It would tie up a ton of money to interior lineman and leave very little money left to find help on defense; not to mention signing Colston, Meacham and Porter. Besides Evans, New Orleans has had a history of letting their C/G free agensts leave, although none have been the caliber of Nicks.

  14. Look pay the man!

    Who Dat got us the first SUPERBOWL TLTLE ……
    uhhh… Brees.

    Who Dat threw for over 5,000 yards at least three times in five years….

    Who Dat has led us to the playoffs for the last three years…

    In my opinion I think his contract year came a year to late…. (check it)
    With the superbowl being in New Orleans,

    having that bad taste in his mouth from the last game, in Frisco,
    ( where despite it all (greg williams) he still had them in a position to win that game.)

    and D-E-S-T-R-O-Y-I-N-G!!! Marino’s record

    playing in his contract year it would have been perfect. Possibly two superbowls, record books stuffed, winning seasons, blah blah blah

    he would have broke the bank next summer.

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