On Brees talks with Saints, is no news bad news?

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The Saints and Drew Brees may be inching toward Threat Level Midnight.

Nearly eight weeks since the team’s season ended and five days from the start of free agency, the two sides have yet to negotiate a new deal. Far more ominously, there’s no news about talks or terms or progress being made.

At last report, the two sides planned to meet and talk parameters last week in Indianapolis. Those discussions occurred amid statements of high confidence from coach Sean Payton and G.M. Mickey Loomis that a deal will be done. But those discussions have led to no concrete signs that a deal is coming.

The latest twist comes from the reminder that, because Brees has a contract that doesn’t void until March 14, he doesn’t enjoy the same right that other looming free agents will have to negotiate, via their agents, with other teams during the two-day window that opens on Monday. Although the report was attributed to an NFLPA spokesman (the only NFLPA spokesman is George Atallah), the fact that it came from a reporter covering the Saints invites speculation as to whether the Saints’ fingerprints appear anywhere on the leakage of that specific nugget.

Reporters get antsy when people speculate on sources, so I won’t. But I will say this: It wouldn’t be the first time that an entity with an agenda handed a scoop to a reporter with a specific request that the sourcing be phrased in a way to completely cover the tracks of the entity with an agenda.

As the Saints and Brees continue their awkward dance toward a potential divorce (and until the deal is done a divorce can indeed happen), the Saints can’t afford to be perceived as doing anything that would seem to be aggressive or disrespectful toward Brees. Leaking what amounts to a warning to other teams that they can’t negotiate with Brees during the 48-hour negotiating window easily could be perceived as that sort of gesture.

Ultimately, the warning is meaningless. Agent Tom Condon will know (if he doesn’t already) what another team will pay Brees if he makes it to the open market. While this admonition may keep a team like the Vikings or Broncos from accidentally tampering with Brees as of Monday, it won’t stop any team that is interested in Brees from making that interest known, or from making the magnitude of any offer that would be made to him clear.

The simple fact that the news on Thursday, March 8 was that Brees can’t formally negotiate with other teams until Wednesday, March 14 and not that Brees and the Saints have a deal in place underscores the reality that the chances of Brees leaving New Orleans, no matter how small they may have been, are now at least a little bit bigger.

UPDATE 12:26 p.m. ET: The report from the New Orleans Advocate regarding Brees’ status was inaccurate. Both the NFL and NFLPA have informed PFT that Brees can negotiate with other teams as of Monday.

33 responses to “On Brees talks with Saints, is no news bad news?

  1. Or maybe there are a couple of free agent signings on the horizon that will effect the way Brees’ extension will be structured, but they can’t be certain until the legal tampering period opens up?

    – per a little birdie

  2. Brees is a master tactician. He’s told the world that he wants to stay in New Orleans shifting the focus to the Saints’ “parsimonious offer” which will likely be below Cousins giving Brees political cover if the negotiations breaks down. The Saints would be responsible for the divorce allowing Brees to return to the city after his career without a significant impact on his reputation. Perhaps Brees was not tying his agent’s hands when he said he wanted to return; perhaps he was ratcheting up the pressure on the Saints to pay him more than Cousins?

  3. As a Viking fan who would love for Brees to QB my team, everyone knows he will remain a Saint. He isn’t going to leave his home, learn a new offense and start over, especially knowing his current team is a SB contender. Looking forward to the Vikes meeting up with the Saints in the playoffs again.

  4. He’s going to be a Jaguar. My sister’s hairdresser’s brother is connected somehow and he says he heard it somewhere.

  5. I like the explanation and the analysis. I am a little more clear on why he has to wait two days – not 100% but more – than I was with the last ones I read. Wouldn’t surprise me to find there’s some Saints’ prints over the leak.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Arguably the best QB out there (that 72% completion ratio, and 103.9 Rating say a lot) and certainly the best in free agency, I’m not 100% sure despite the posturing that he comes back to NOLA. Not sure he won’t but there are teams that can pay him like a #1 or #2 QB and not even break the bank to do so. I’d certainly be listening.

  6. deneb1973 says:
    March 9, 2018 at 7:10 am
    Brees is a master tactician….
    He’d be an even more masterful tactician if he copied Brady who 2yrs before the current deal expires makes a team-friendly extension. Zero SBs and a mediocre .543 record (50-46) since Brees got that record breaking $100M deal in 2012. And has Brees ever carried a team on his back into the playoffs like Brady? Nope. Brees isn’t worth Brady’s $14M/yr.

  7. streetyson LOL! He becomes the all time passing leader by week 6 this season. Oh and those 7-9 seasons…. BREES carried the team, without him and those horrendous defenses they would win 2 games.

  8. I’m sure he isn’t going anywhere…but I always worry when folks like Payton are incredibly casual about it. Don’t take your franchise QB for granted…

  9. More than likely, Brees is waiting to get more money than Cousins.

    But every day that ticks away with no new contract, allows another team to pay Brees more than what the Saints are offering.

  10. Brees just sent them the ‘show me the money’ video from “Jerry Maguire”.

  11. And has Brees ever carried a team on his back into the playoffs like Brady? Nope.
    And has Brady ever played with historically bad defenses? Over multiple seasons? Nope. Poor argument. It may be possible for a basketball player to carry a team on his back, but that’s only 4 players, not 21. That’s a lazy assessment to make about the ultimate team sport.

    Having said that, since 2006 the Payton-Loomis administration waits until the last minute to get anything done. It’s frustrating, and it’s looking like this deal will be no different.

  12. Probably stays a Saint but at this point it’s going to cost them. I’m thinking 4 years 120 million with 60 million guaranteed.

  13. How many years guaranteed do you want to give a 39 year old QB? I know they last longer these days but the last thing the Saints need is huge $ on the payroll just sitting their dead in 2020. Last year’s awesome draft bailed them out. All teams with a great QB face this problem. You have to pay the QB but it costs you in other areas. Brady can make roll players into stars. Brees is a very good QB but he doesn’t seem to have that capability.

  14. Brees, Brady, and Rogers deserve to be the highest paid QBs; they are the elite in the league. I’m sure NO and GB would love to sign their guys at the lowest possible number that would keep the two happy/satisfied. Both teams know they have their guys; they are just waiting for the salary structure to be set with the other FA QBs. And, all the sports reporters are trying to make a pretty boring topic interesting until the actual FA signings begin next week.

  15. He’ll be a Saint, but it would be pretty damn ironic if things broke down with the Saints, he signed with the Vikes, and there was later a ruling of illegal contact/tampering — we could call it “tampergate”.

  16. I wish we could get some explanation for why Brees is different from every other free agent that is allowed to start negotiating on March 12. “Because Brees has a contract that doesn’t void until March 14” isn’t an explanation because every free agent’s contract voids on March 14. Is there something written into the contract that says negotiating with other teams during the negotiating period is not allowed?

  17. He’s going to be a Jaguar. My sister’s hairdresser’s brother is connected somehow and he says he heard it somewhere.


    I want a piece of that action. There’s ZERO chance of that happening lol despite any connection….

  18. If the Vikings got Brees for 30 mil for 3 yrs, they would do it and be happy.

  19. And has Brees ever carried a team on his back into the playoffs like Brady? Nope. Brees isn’t worth Brady’s $14M/yr.

    Brady counts $22 mil against the cap in 2018 and 2019. Only 8 QBs make more, at present.

    Cute that everybody thinks he’s playing for free though.

  20. Dem Saints ain’t no-wuh (nowhere) without DaBreeze.

    Just as with Mister Rodgers/Cheeseheads in Green Bay, the powers-that-be need to PAY UP.

  21. Brees has made a lot of money over the years…..he could afford to take a little less to surround himself with a couple of players that would help him go out a winner.

  22. Still think that Houston makes a run at Brees. Gives Watson time to recover, Brees goes back to his home state.2 yr deal.

  23. Brady can make roll players into stars. Brees is a very good QB but he doesn’t seem to have that capability.
    Says someone who hasn’t paid attention to the Saints in the last 12 years. Brees has produced top 5 offenses (usually 1st or 2nd) with mostly “role” players.

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