Vikings, other QB-needy teams reportedly reaching out to Drew Brees to leave Saints

It is a widely-held belief that free-agent quarterback Drew Brees will end up signing with the Saints this offseason, but Brees is very much a free agent. He is not restricted by anything other than sentimentality and/or loyalty when it comes to leaving New Orleans. And the idea of Brees, who has Tom Condon for an agent, taking less money and sticking around for those reasons has always felt a little foolish.

With the legal-tampering period underway as of noon ET on Monday, then, it is a perfect time to pass along a report from NFL Media's Tom Pelissero, staked out in Minnesota, that the Vikings have reached out to Brees to express interest in potentially signing the quarterback.

"The Vikings have made a call on the Saints quarterback, who does not have a new deal in New Orleans," Pelissero reported. "Everyone I have spoken to believes Drew Brees stays with the New Orleans Saints. He doesn't have a contract. Teams are able to reach out to him. The Vikings have done that to him today."

Additionally, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, there are "other" teams in need of a quarterback who have at least contacted Condon. 

Two of those teams who would be obvious: the Cardinals and the Broncos

All three teams are capable of winning a Super Bowl in 2018 if the quarterback situation breaks right for them, which is why all three teams have been heavily involved in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes. 

Which brings up a very good point here: the rumors of these teams calling Condon and Brees are mutually beneficial. The teams who are chasing a free-agent quarterback can point out how they're interested in Brees and how Cousins is not their only option on the market, thank you very much.

Cousins, by the way, might have accidentally let the world know that he is leaning toward the Jets and Vikings with an HTML screwup on his website. It has been widely reported there are four teams most likely to push for a Cousins deal, although CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has reported the Vikings and Jets are the only teams with any real chance of landing him.

And for Brees, the leverage is also obvious. The Saints are slow playing this, for some reason; they probably hope they can land Brees for less than $30 million per year. But Brees now can tell the Saints two things.

One, there are other teams who are interested. That immediately presents a problem for the Saints, who would prefer to be the only team on the short list for Brees. And two, if the Saints don't hammer out a deal before the start of the league year on Wednesday, March 14 at 4 p.m. ET, they will have an $18 million dead cap hit from Brees' previous contract, regardless of whether he signs in New Orleans or signs elsewhere. 

Brees can let them know he will consider other offers and it should, in theory, cause the Saints to crank up the pace with which they are willing to negotiate while also cranking up the number of millions of dollars they are willing to offer.

The whole Brees negotiation has always seemed a little too easy. It might be much more complicated than we thought if the Vikings and other teams begin to get involved.

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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