Brees, Saints awaiting grievance ruling

Posted June 30, 2012 @ 1:07 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

The clock continues to tick for Drew Brees and the Saints. Brees will only be able to play under the franchise tag in 2012 if he does not sign a multiyear contract by 4 p.m. ET on July 16, but both sides still appear confident they will reach a long-term agreement before the deadline.

The window of time to finalize a deal before a ruling is issued in Brees’ grievance against the NFL — which will determine whether the franchise tag placed on him this offseason counts as his first or second (he was tagged by a different team, the Chargers, in 2005) — soon could be closed.

Brees and the Saints are waiting to hear from arbitrator Stephen Burbank, who reportedly said he would rule within a week after listening to arguments from the league and NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler during the June 27 grievance hearing.

While Burbank’s ruling could affect negotiations by granting a bit of leverage to the Saints or Brees, our sources still expect Brees to sign a long-term deal that averages close to $20 million per year.

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