OPENING HIT: Drew Brees' contract expires soon. It'll get done, of course. Right. Right? Hello? Is this thing on?
That's what the Saints continually say. Brees will be back, a new deal will come. I do believe that. Mostly. Kind of. But in speaking with sources on both sides of this there is a certain amount of digging in. The talks between the two sides (for now at least) have gone nowhere. That can change in an instant but for the moment the gap is wide.
I was once told months ago this would get done fairly easily but now there won't be anything easy about it. This has the potential to get long and nasty and could extend into off-season workouts and well into training camp.
I don't understand the Saints' handling of this at all. For everything Brees has done for that organization -- a Super Bowl, a class act, a great representative off the field post-Katrina -- you roll out the ATM machine for Brees. You pay the man. You freaking pay the man.
Trust me on this: Brees feels the same way. He'll never say it publicly but he does and I can't blame him. His contract status should have never, ever reached this point. It's a blemish on Saints ownership and management that it has.
According to NFL blogger Brian McIntyre, the Saints have $125M in cash committed (guaranteed and non-guaranteed) to players over 2012 and 2013. That's the second lowest in league to Cincinnati's $90M. That's pretty bad.
Time will pass, this will get done, but it may not be pretty along the way.
This could get nasty before it gets better.