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Heels remain dug in for Brees, Saints

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted March 09, 2012 @ 5:47 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

In an unsettling offseason for the Saints, the gridlock in contract negotiations between Drew Brees and the team continues to befuddle some around the league.

Some team observers were thinking Brees would offer the Saints a discount to re-sign him before the start of free agency this offseason, but sources familiar with the negotiations between his agent, Tom Condon, and the team say Brees has yet to show the anticipated flexibility in agreeing to a price.

With no long-term agreement in place, the Saints applied the exclusive franchise tag to Brees on March 3. He has not signed the one-year tender, which is projected to be worth about $14.4 million (the cost of the tag is expected to rise to about $16 million on April 20), and he's in no rush to do so. The two sides have until July 16 — the last day the Saints and Brees can agree on a multiyear deal — to reach an agreement on a new contract, but both sides would like to have a deal in place when the Saints hit the field for offseason practices in mid-May. Our sources say they still would be shocked if Brees plays under the tag, instead of a long-term contract, in 2012.

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