METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees won’t have a new contract in place before the New Orleans Saints kick off training camp, unless something changes drastically in the next few days.
Even though other quarterbacks like Andrew Luck and Joe Flacco have gotten long-term extensions done this offseason, Brees said Saturday that he and the Saints haven’t even resumed negotiations in the last three months.
“Not sure why things have not progressed,” said Brees, who is heading into the final year of his contract. “They made an offer in March, we made an offer shortly thereafter. And besides the Josh Norman deal [when the Saints approached Brees about restructuring his contract to try to fit the star cornerback under their salary cap], there has been no talk about a contract since.”
Saints, Brees should be more eager to get contract done
The Saints and Drew Brees have plenty of incentive to get a contract done now, which makes the delay more and more perplexing, writes Mike Triplett.
Brees, 37, has suggested in the past that deadlines usually spur action in contract talks like these — and there has been no real deadline in place so far, with the Saints content to let him play out the year with a whopping salary-cap figure of $30 million.
When asked if the start of training camp might serve as an unofficial deadline, Brees reiterated that he wanted a deal done by the start of the season on Sept. 11.
“I would say the deadline is the start of the regular season, not training camp,” he said.
Brees said in May that he would not discuss his contract during the season. So if a deal isn’t done by Week 1, it will have to wait until the end of the year, when he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.
Brees, however, has insisted that he won’t hold out or skip any practice time, and he fully participated in OTAs and minicamp. The Saints’ veterans report to training camp in West Virginia on Wednesday.
Brees became the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history in 2012, when he signed a five-year, $100 million contract with the Saints. Since then, his $20 million average has been passed up 11 times — including twice by Flacco.
Flacco signed for a record $22.13 million per year in new money in March. Then Luck shattered that mark with $24.6 million per year in new money last month.
The biggest sticking point in Brees’ contract will likely be the guaranteed money because of his age. If Brees wants more than $60 million in guarantees like Luck, Flacco and a handful of other quarterbacks, that would be guaranteeing him money into his age-39 season.
Brees is still going strong, though. Although he has battled a series of nagging injuries over the past two years, Brees led the NFL in passing for the fourth time in five seasons last year with 4,870 yards in just 15 games played.