Saints coach Joe Vitt 'confident' Drew Brees will be at training camp

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Vitt's 'confident' that Brees and the Saints will work something out in time for training camp. (Getty Images)

The Saints appear to be through the majority of the offseason turmoil (and boy has there been a lot), but one, gigantic elephant is kicking it in New Orleans: Drew Brees remains unsigned.

Brees was given the franchise tag by the Saints in the offseason but has yet to sign it. And there isn't much out there to provide inspiration for a quick return. But interim coach Joe Vitt says he's "confident" that Brees will be with the Saints for training camp.

"I feel confident he's going to be here,” Vitt said, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “He'll be here."

Vitt was asked why he's so confident in Brees making it to camp and drew some laughter with his response.

"What else is he going to do?" Vitt asked, per our Saints Rapid Reporter Larry Holder. "He can't sing or dance."

Ha-ha! Not so funny is the clock ticking down on the July 16 deadline for the Saints to sign Brees to a long-term deal. If nothing's done by then, Brees will have to play on the one-year franchise deal. Vitt believes any sort of longer deal will happen at the "23rd hour."

"Pretty sure," Vitt said, via Rapoport. "Yeah, I know that. Listen, I don't think anybody thought this was going to be easy. We talked about the lockout last year, 'Well, they're going to come back then, they're going to come back here.' I think everybody knew it was going to come back to the 23rd hour and it would get done. There's a lot of revolving pieces Mickey (Loomis) has to get in with the cap and so on and so forth.

"This is going to get done, and it's going to get done when Drew and Mickey know what's best for our football team and we can move forward."

There's a number of factors that make Brees' case interesting, but most notable is the previous franchise tag he received from the Chargers in 2005. Not only did Brees end up suffering an injury on that one-year deal that put his career in jeopardy, but now the NFLPA is reportedly attemping to get Brees current franchise tag classified as a second tagging, which would increase his one-year salary.

Brees would then receive 120 percent of last season's salary, rather than the current tag amount he's slated to receive. Once that issue is resolved, it'll possibly make it smoother for negotiations to continue, if only because the two sides will have a clearer starting point.

In the meantime, Saints fans have to wait with baited breath, despite the confidence Vitt displayed on Thursday.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.
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