Tom Benson: Deal with Drew Brees 'close,' thinks it 'will be done shortly'

Benson says the Saints are "close" on a Brees deal. (Getty Images)

On Friday, the NBA announced that Saints owner Tom Benson purchased the New Orleans Hornets. It's a glorious day for basketball in the Big Easy. If you want to talk about the NBA, go hang out with our Eye on Basketball brethren. We want to talk football.

Like, for instance, why is Benson buying a basketball franchise (cost: $338 million) instead of ponying up for a new contract for franchise quarterback Drew Brees. Well, according to Benson, he spoke with Brees Friday morning and the sides are "close."

"We're close," Benson said. "I think that will be done shortly."
This is quite surprising news. Heretofore, all rumors and speculation about Brees contract indicated that he and the Saints were pretty far away from reaching the parameters of a deal.

Such a deal was expected to potentially become somewhat contentious; the Saints desperately need Brees on the field and on time, as he'll serve as a de facto coach in an organization that needs some structure right now.

Perhaps things are changing quickly and Brees deal was held up with the Saints management handling the purchase of the Hornets. It would be a surprise, however, if the deal was done as shortly as Benson seemed to imply.
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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