NEW ORLEANS -- One day after estranged quarterback Drew Brees publicly declared his growing frustration over stalled contract talks, New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis kept his inner most thoughts to himself.
"I'm not going to respond to anything other than, look, I'm with (Brees). I feel for him,'' Loomis told reporters Friday at the conclusion of a press conference at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to announce the selection of team owner Tom Benson and former running back Deuce McAlister to the Saints Hall of Fame. "If he didn't care, he wouldn't say a word, right?
"(Brees) wants to be here right now, and we want him to be here right now, and we will work hard to get that accomplished,'' Loomis continued. "This is important. It's not just important to him but it's important to our team. The magnitude of this contract is going to impact our team for a long, long period of time. We got to get it right. It's got to be right for Drew and it's got to be right for our team as well. We'll get there.''
The multi-million dollar question is when? When will Team Brees and Team Saints get on the same contractual page and quit giving Who Dat Nation the business?
The team has placed the "exclusive'' franchise tag on Brees, guaranteeing him a one-year base salary of $16.371 million or the average of the five highest paid quarterbacks in 2012.
Brees and his agent, Tom Condon, are seeking a multi-year deal that features guaranteed money in line with other elite NFL quarterbacks, such as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, etc.
Consequently, Brees has decided not to participate in the team's ongoing offseason program. He is expected to miss all 10 OTAs (the first three on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and minicamp June 5 through 7 and is threatening to skip training camp, if necessary.
Both sides have until July 16 to strike a long term deal. If no such agreement has been consummated, Brees can either play for the one-year tender or sit out the season.
"Tomorrow is an important date, or Monday, or next week when the (OTAs) begin,'' Loomis said when asked about the mid-July deadline. "So every day is important.
"We have a great relationship, and these things sometimes get strained but I'm not going to get into any discussion what has happened, what is happening and what's going to happen. A contract is a personal issue for players and I recognize that. I'm worried about getting him signed and getting it done right for all parties. That's what I'm worried about.''
Loomis declined to acknowledge if the sides had reached an impasse. When asked to characterize the negotiations, Loomis replied: "We're not done yet. That's how I would characterize it.''
Saints owner Tom Benson reiterated Friday after the Hall of Fame press conference that his franchise player will be back on the field this year. "I assure you that Drew Brees will be playing here."
|< Prev||Next >|