The latest Saints parlor game that isn’t related to the NFL’s investigation and punishment for the pay-for-performance bounty program has to do with quarterback Drew Brees.
Specifically, when will he sign his gargantuan long-term contract with the Saints?
According to ESPN’s John Clayton it could be days. Or it could be weeks. Or it could be months.
“You get the feeling they’ll get something done,” Clayton said on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning. “It’s just going to be weeks, a couple of days, could take them a month. But overall, they’ve moved closer, not in the last couple of weeks, but at least a couple of weeks ago.”
Clayton, as tied into the NFL and contract negotiations as anybody, says the Saints and Brees have inched closer, pulling to within $2 million per year of each other.
But he also wisely points out that the Saints have kind of been distracted lately.
Since the offseason began, the Saints have had to replace a defensive coordinator (after Gregg Williams’ contract wasn’t renewed), faced questions beginning March 2 about the NFL’s investigation into a bounty program, re-signed receiver Marques Colston, signed Ben Grubbs to replace left guard Carl Nicks, signed several new linebackers and had to answer questions about the suspensions and fines levied by the NFL.
And then there was Tom Benson’s focus while courting the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, which he purchased last week, league approval, of course, pending.
In other words, while Brees is important, there have been other things happening.
But now that the appeals have been turned down and the Hornets’ purchase is all but finished, attention can turn to Brees.
Benson said he has been in touch with Brees and that they’re close. While that may be a bit more positive than reality - Loomis and Brees' agent Tom Condon likely wouldn’t agree - that the owner is beginning to get involved is a good sign.
Regardless, of the many people whom I trust who I’ve talked to, there’s no doubt that a contract will get done.
The team needs Brees’ leadership sooner rather than later (remember, he’s the one who set up lockout workouts at Tulane last year).
And Brees needs the companionship of his teammates sooner rather than later (he thrives on being around the locker room and the routine that comes along with conditioning and workouts).