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Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

Drew Brees is spending the next few days doing interviews for Dick's Sporting Goods.

The timing, though, couldn't be worse.

Wednesday morning, Brees went on ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show and sounded less than enthused to be doing the interview.

That's likely because the questions had little to do with why he was on the show.

Brees was asked about a wide-range of topics, including whether he'd play under the franchise tag the Saints designated him with a week ago.

Without coming out and saying it, Brees all but said he would not.

'I've played under the franchise tag before back in 2005 (with San Diego),' Brees said in the interview. 'That ended with 13 anchors in my right shoulder and having a 25 percent chance of playing football again so that didn't really work out too well for me.'

He said the Saints are well aware of his unhappiness with the franchise tag and that they know he's looking for a long-term contract.

And to that end, he said discussions are continuing.

'I think a lot of people think a deal like this is very clear cut and plain and simple,' Brees said. 'I'd say there's probably a lot more to it than just what you might see on the surface. It's not like something like this happens over night or even over the course of a few weeks. It takes some time.'

Brees said he cut off discussions early in the 2011 season to focus on football. That season ended with Brees setting an NFL record for passing yards in a season and helping the Saints become the most explosive offense in NFL history.

Then there were questions about the pay for performance program, something that has tainted the Saints offseason.

While he said he wasn't aware of it going on, he said the fact that it's being discussed is tough for the franchise to handle.

When Mike Greenberg asked Brees about sounding sad and unenthusiastic during the interview, Brees responded, 'The bounty questions, those are tough to answer just because I think a lot of us are...we kind of feel like we're outside of that. We're on the inside of the organization and yet, we're on the outside in a lot of ways with the facts of that whole case.'

He added, 'That's kind of a black eye on our organization right now which is something we're not happy about. We're very disappointed and embarrassed to an extent. Regardless of what the facts end up saying, just the fact that the perception of this is so bad, I think immediately people jump to conclusions and feel like everybody is guilty in this thing.'

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