Drew Brees will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason but says he will be “beyond stunned” if he is not back with the New Orleans Saints.
Brees’ agent Tom Condon has been negotiating on and off with the organization but the sides haven’t come close on finalizing a deal.
“Now here we are at the end of the season and it's time to pick up discussions again, obviously once we all get a chance to step away and decompress and let this season kind of settle,” Brees said Friday during a conference call, according to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayine. “But I've had conversations with (Saints general nanager) Mickey Loomis and my agent and at some point very soon we're going continue to talk and hopefully we will get a deal done very soon.”
In a perfect world, Brees says he has a deal done before free agency opens in the second week of March. If the club can’t pull that off, he’ll be an attractive target on the open market.
“Really the sooner the better. I would even say that between now and free agency (in early March) I'd really like to have something done,” Brees said. “Obviously there's a lot that goes into it. It's not as easy as maybe some people think it is. I just think there's a lot of factors, variables, things to consider. The fact is we're all very confident that a deal will get done sooner than later.”</p>
Brees should pull down one of the largest contracts in NFL history. Triplett expects it to average about $18 million per year. Those deals don’t get done quickly, so hunker down for some tight negotiations.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune