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Brees frustrated over contract standoff

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By PFW staff

Drew Brees expressed frustration over the “lack of communication” between the Saints and his agent in the ongoing contract stalemate, according to a report by PFW correspondent Mike Triplett of The Times-Picayune.

"I would say more than anything, I guess, what's been a little frustrating on my end or disappointing is the lack of communication," Brees told WWL-AM radio in New Orleans on Wednesday, according to Triplett. "There's always a back and forth when it comes to these negotiations. But I know we've reached out on quite a few occasions. And at times, I know I've been frustrated with the lack of response. ...

"I would just say there should be a sense of urgency, and yet it seems like there's not."

The Saints placed the exclusive franchise tag on Brees in February, which would translate to a one-year, $16.371 million contract, if he signs it.

Although Brees won’t discuss the details of his contract demands, he and his agent, Tom Condon, are believed to be asking for a deal that pays him in the vicinity of $21 million per year, whereas the Saints are thought to be offering approximately $19 million annually, according to Triplett. The Broncos signed Peyton Manning to a five-year deal averaging $19.2 million annually during the offseason.

The deadline for the Saints to sign Brees to a long-term contract is July 16, after which he can sign only a one-year deal. When asked if he would sign the franchise tender if a new contract weren’t signed by July 16, Brees said he couldn’t even think about that possibility now.

"I'm gonna be as prepared as I can possibly be with whatever happens. So, if that means missing OTAs, missing minicamp, missing training camp, I will be as ready as I can possibly be," Brees said. "I know there's no way you can simulate those things anywhere else other than being on the field with your team. But I have a plan, so I'll execute that plan as I need to."

The way we see it

Brees doesn’t want to play the 2012 season under the franchise tag because, if he were to get injured, it would hamper his ability to attract a lucrative long-term contract in free agency next offseason. That happened to him in 2005, when he played under the franchise tag and then tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder in the final regular-season game. PFW’s Dan Parr wrote last week that neither Brees nor the Saints will feel any urgency to complete a long-term contract until July 16 gets closer.

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