Drew Brees has played under the franchise tag previously.
He did it as a starter in 2005 for the San Diego Chargers and we know how that season ended – with a gruesome shoulder injury that nearly ended his career.
Brees was considered damaged goods by a lot of teams in the league. The Saints took a chance on him and it proved to be one of the best moves in franchise history. But Brees doesn’t want to play under the tag again, something New Orleans placed on him last week when a long-term deal could not be reached.
Visiting on ESPN Radio with “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” Brees made that clear today.
“I’ve played under the franchise tag before, back in 2005, and that ended with 13 anchors in my right shoulder and a 25 percent chance of playing football again,” Brees said. “That didn’t work out too well for me. I’ve talked to the Saints about this many times.
“They definitely know my desire to have a long-term deal, and hopefully they want me to have that as well. We will continue discussions and hopefully get a long-term deal done.”
Brees has been optimistic about this issue for months. But nothing got done in time and as a result the Saints now enter a curious position with their star player.
“I’m still hoping that we can get something done sooner than later,” Brees said.
We’ve heard that over and over. Hopefully his optimism is well rooted. Otherwise, he could be forced to play for the one-year tender again.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune